Still Remains
The Serpent


4.0
excellent

Review

by eyesofapocalypse USER (14 Reviews)
January 14th, 2013 | 4 replies | 822 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This serpent has a venomous bite. It's powerfully catchy yet still vicious, and transcends almost all of its generally boring competition.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

I recall when The Serpent was originally released, all the "hardcore" kids rioted over it and had tantrums similar to the way fanbases turned on Avenged Sevenfold with City of Evil and Atreyu with Lead Sails Paper Anchor. In fact, it's seemed to be a trend for all metalcore bands to release an album that's less metalcore and more alternative metal or heavy metal. Good for them.

While fans weren't overall accepting of The Serpent, I certainly was. And though I do not enjoy almost any metalcore albums nearly as much as I did then, I cannot say the same for this album. Still Remains managed to burn their name in the best of metalcore history by turning away from the boring stereotypes of the genre and release something interesting, creative, and even slightly unique - even their debut Of Love and Lunacy was able to separate itself from the herd.

The Serpent is a powerful fusion of melodic metalcore (note the melodic, in that Still Remains leans far more on the melodic death metal side of metalcore than the hardcore side of metalcore) and alternative metal, and they alternate between these styles repeatedly. While the entire album is definitely keyboard laden (they are so present that they are the major source for my enjoyment of this album), tracks like "Stay Captive" and "Sleepless Nights Alone" eschew metal riffs and growl-scream vocals in favor of a completely keyboard driven sound and an utter reliance on poppy clean vocal hooks. Though "Dancing with the Enemy" attempts the same sound, it's not nearly as memorable as the aforementioned two which are so catchy they're definite highlights. On the other end, songs such as "The Wax Walls of an Empty Room," "The River Song," and "Avalanche" are full of groovy, excellent riffs that will really satisfy one's thirst for actual metal in this album. Don't think they abandoned the catchiness though; in fact, these songs are equally catchy and include some of the most sickeningly sweet keyboard melodies on the album (the opening and chorus of "The Wax Walls of an Empty Room" probably IS my favorite keyboard melody on the album). It's the way these songs unite the crushing riffs with catchy keyboard and vocal hooks that make these songs so good - "The River Song" is likely my favorite for this.

Lyrically, this album manages some impressive moments as well. "Anemia in Your Sheets" and "The River Song" managed to catch my attention with the writing style, while "Sleepless Nights Alone" merely manages to pull at my heartstrings with a tale to which I relate. It's "Avalanche" though which impressed me the most with its Final Fantasy VII related subject matter - something which made the Final Fantasy fan in me scream in glee. On the other hand, tracks like "Dropped from the Cherry Tree" and "An Undesired Reunion" may contain deeply personal messages, yet they are blunt and unmoving due to the lack of even a single shred of poetic grace.

Ultimately, The Serpent is a fantastic album that has separated itself from the metalcore pack and succeeds by turning away from the tropes of metalcore. The riffs are commonly in line with heavy metal or melodic death metal, and it's contrasted with hugely impressive, ever-present keyboards and vocal hooks that actually work. If "melodic metalcore" ever existed, this album is the very definition of it. I suspect a lot of people not so impressed with metalcore might actually enjoy this album, assuming they can ignore the colossal accessibility level of it. I know I certainly enjoy it.



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user ratings (244)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Nick Habisch (5)
A change we can believe in!...

Trey Spencer STAFF (3.5)
Still Remains almost completely sheds their metalcore stereotypes and tries for a fuller, more matur...

Kiran EMERITUS (2)
Upon the sophomore release of what was a decent metalcore band, the word 'generic' was tossed around...


Comments:Add a Comment 
JustinKing
January 14th 2013



1283 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I could never get too into this album. I love Of Love and Lunacy, but this one fell flat to me and never really grew on me. I think the only band that made a worthwhile release when changing from a melodic metalcore sound to a more hard rock sound was Destroy the Runner.

eyesofapocalypse
January 14th 2013



25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I used to love Of Love and Lunacy as well, but it kind of grew old after awhile. I also never found much appreciation for I, Lucifer, though I once upon a time loved DTR's debut.

JustinKing
January 14th 2013



1283 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I still love both bands' debuts. Both are far from original or genre-defining, but I still find them very enjoyable.

FrozenVain
January 14th 2013



2363 Comments


Long time since you wrote a review. It was nice, pos'd.



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