Review Summary: Finally a supergroup that doesn't disappoint.
Supergroups are a bit of an odd thing in music: on paper they sound incredible, however many fail in execution. When I first heard that legendary death metal vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, Killswitch Engage mastermind Adam Dutkiewicz and extremely talented former The Black Dahlia Murder kitman Shannon Lucas were forming a supergroup my interest level was off the charts. To put the cherry and sprinkles on top of the ice cream, the lyrics were penned by Killswitch Engage frontman Jesse Leach. After all those facts I had no doubts the project would be a rousing success, and Serpentine Dominion proved me right.
Serpentine Dominion isn’t really pigeonholed into a specific genre, falling somewhere in between melodic death metal and melodic metalcore. All three members contribute immensely and make their own unique mark on the album. Of course at the forefront are Corpsegrinder’s excellent vocals which really fit in more than I thought they would on the album. Dutkiewicz is the star of the show here as he usually is, his melodic riffs and soloing are addictive and creative. Adam also contributes his signature high screams that contrast well with Corpsegrinder’s low growls, as well as singing a few choruses with his gruff and soulful style. Last but not least is Shannon Lucas’ drumming, which might be the most impressive thing on the whole album. Lucas is extremely talented and plays at breakneck pace, using relentless blast beats that never cease. He has been out of permanent work for far too long since leaving The Black Dahlia Murder and it’s great seeing him back drumming.
If Serpentine Dominion
is a few things, it’s heavy as hell and balls to the wall. There are even a few breakdowns here and there, but they are handled tastefully as the technique was intended to be, reminding me of Suffocation. “Divide, Conquer, Burn and Destroy” is the probably the heaviest song on the album ending on one of those aforementioned well done and dense breakdowns which will make you want to mosh alone in your room. Adam D is a guy that really knows how to write an excellent riff that will get stuck in your head for days, combing melodies and absolutely skull crushing riffs. Jesse’s lyrics are impressive tackling his usual themes of corruption and anti-government sentiment and also create some fun lyrical callouts like on “The Vengeance In Me.” The only complaint that can be lodged against this project is that there are only 9 songs, with two being an intro and a prelude, and the run time being a measly 26 minutes. The intro and prelude however aren’t throwaways, they are genuinely excellent acoustic tracks that lead into their respective songs well, even giving off some Opethian vibes.
caters to a wide range of fans from those of Cannibal Corpse, Killswitch Engage and just fans of metal in general. For those who had wished Killswitch Engage had gone in a heavier direction, this album is for you with Adam at the top of his riff writing game. The project was created mainly just for the fun of it and it shines through on this album. You couldn’t have asked for three more talented guys currently working in the metal scene. This is one of the few times of note for me that a supergroup hasn’t disappointed and has in fact rose to the occasion and created an excellent album, we can only hope we will get a sequel sometime.