Review Summary: The basilisk of the modern death metal/grind scene.
Job For a Cowboy, The Black Dahlia Murder and Deeds of Flesh - what happens when you combine the sounds of these bands and a number of other elements (such as grind and brutal death metal) together...
You get a Basilisk. And their eyes turn you into stone. Literally, an obsidian rock that never becomes eroded or destroyed. Job For a Cowboy entered the world of deathcore at a very young age and their vocalist Johnny Davy is regarded as the protege to vocalists such as George Fischer from Cannibal Corpse and Lord Worm of Cryptopsy fame. Albums such as Genesis and Ruination/Demonacracy were considerably well done but lacked the power and menace of their final album Sun Eater which amalgamated the Floridian death metal scene sort of sound that was popularized by Death and their peers during the early 90's. On the other side of the spectrum, The Black Dahlia Murder are more of a melodic death metal band with heavy metalcore and hardcore influence but their main thing is their strength in the melodic intricacies found in their discography. In my opinion, The Black Dahlia Murder have never really faltered in their 18 or so year career and their vocalist Trevor Strnad is one of the most maniacal and viscerally guttural/banshee-esque vocalists in the field of any form of metal, melodic or otherwise. Their last album Nightbringers was incredible, Nocturnal and Miasma were good and the rest were also of an excellent standard.
But as we turn a new page in the world of heavy music as we enter a new decade (of aggression), this new outfit, featuring members of the two aforementioned bands as well as the drummer from Deeds of Flesh, we have Serpent of Gnosis. Gnosis is Latin/Greek for knowledge and the heretical Christians of the medieval times were considered to be very esoteric and occult orientated in their teachings. Apocrypha and prophetic scriptures utilizing the biblical elements of times long gone (as well as future times in sacred writings, not just the book of revelations or the Hebrew teachings such as the Dead Sea Scrolls but books by authors such as Nostradamus) feature gnostic teachings. Essentially, the essence of gnosis is absolute knowledge - know thyself and of course, the immortal saying "knowledge is power" is also important to the Gnostics.
Anyway, enough about the damn band name and background. What is this album like? Well, it is only 21 minutes long but it is a serious listen, incorporating blinding speed, brutal guitar riffs and a stupendous vocal performance featuring everything Davy is known for (aside from the pig squeals which he phased out after Genesis). The lyrics are awesome and the drumming is extremely sporadic, tight and varied. The song lengths vary from extremely brief to a few minutes. The whole album is superb and masterfully well executed to a high standard. The incredible proficiency and the prolific background of each member speaks for itself in the highest volumes. If you thought Job For a Cowboy was heavy and relentless, then Serpent of Gnosis multiplies that facet by an abundant level.
Album highlights - just listen to the whole album. In all seriousness, every track sounds similar but the whole thing is amazing. A truly ferocious and fear-inducing listen (in terms of just how fast and quick everything is) and this is for those who like grind, death metal and any form of deathcore from the 00's.
Great album, great band - a promising future for them in every regard.