Review Summary: There’s honestly no need to fuss.
So called supergroups have become a common factor in the metal community. More often and not the concept of band member “A” working with band member “B” helped out by this other guy from…. Well, you can see where this is going. Basically when members from already well received groups come together to make an album it’s supposed to be a culmination that blows their original works out of the water. Unfortunately for Serpentine Path their debut affair falls short of making any real ground. Sure, the album is listenable enough but it fails to make an impression on the listener who wanted Serpentine Path
to be so much more than it actually is. Featuring members from Unearthly Trance, Electric Wizard and Ramesses there was a fair, and somewhat warranted amount of hype involved with this release.
Although the record fails to make a lasting impression on the listener, the album itself has everything in the right places including track titles (‘Crotalus Horridus Horridus’, ‘Bats Amongst Heathens’, ‘Only a Monolith Remains’) which help represent the albums overall atmosphere and mood . The music is interesting enough at the time and this sludge filled, slightly doom-y record allows for the listener to have a little space for thought without being enveloped in sludge madness. With eight tracks the album just passes the forty-minute mark. Long enough to provide a decent listen ensuring that fans of the members will at least get a fair share whilst short enough to ensure the listener is maintained throughout. As with Serpentine Path’s other bands the music draws inspiration from each group respectively and puts each technique, sound or style to use. However by the time the listener has completed the album tracks fail to stand out even with a repeated listen.
As said before, and much of a down point of the album is it’s too ‘samey’ soundscapes. The band draws on the trialed and moderately successful soundscapes of their other acts and puts them to use here over and over again. The distorted guitars are fuzzy throughout and provide limited ideas in the way of a melodic line. Serpentine Path
use riff after riff tied in with consistently tempo-d drum passages which for the most part are unwavering in their technique. Even the vocal phrasing is even, this as well doesn’t help in terms of providing a contrast to engage the listeners’’ attention in a prolonged manner. Audio samples come and go but even they don’t do too much to add to Serpentine Path’s
overall quality. Production also plays a role in seeing this stay readily borderline average. Some things are actually better under a crusty production process that focuses on a rawer black metal sound (a type of raw bleakness that can be found when listening to any Thou record).
Overall for an album that could have been so much more, Serpentine Path
fails to show this so called ‘super-group’ of metal-ers at their highest level, the album is far from horrendous but it is as equally as far from perfect. By the records end the album sounds diluted yet still very much the same. For fans of the member’s other groups there will be something here to please but for the casual listener who knows better this will be listenable but will ultimately fall short. There is a sense of culmination however and the record should not be considered a failed attempt to capitalize solely on the prestige of Serpentine Path’s lineup.