Serpent (JPN)



by Piglet USER (10 Reviews)
June 9th, 2024 | 7 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: RIFFS/5

Serpent are a band that are Japanese, and by happenstance, quite good. As far as I’m concerned, that’s an indisputable fact that has an objective basis in reality, along with dugongs being aquatic, and grass looking neat after it’s been mowed. They bring in abundance all the frosty, jagged Children Of Bodom/Michael Amott-esque riffs one could want (even the riff on Slave sounds eerily similar to that of Dead Inside), without the hustle and bustle and useless bollocking around that neoclassical metal and wotnot is otherwise renowned for.

Every song on this album without exception, is a sleek flagship of riffs and solos hoisted on a hull of sturdy drumwork and stodgy basswork. In fact, Hiroki’s leads glide so effortlessly across the album’s entire length, without for a moment dropping in quality or memorability, that one can excuse the lack of flourishing from the other instruments, as it feels as though they are there merely to compliment the main act. Occasionally a cheeky piano, vocal sample or synth rears it’s head into the fore of the mix, before eventually puckering itself back in, not unlike an obedient shart, to let the guitars crown the melodic landscape once more. It’s also worth pointing out that the drumwork from Keija is played with such an intensity and compactness that it gives the album a constant driving, headbanging quality, not to mention his snappy fills furnishes the pockets of dead air with aplomb.

The hoarse vocals could be included in this bracket of the rhythm section, although they do helpfully fall into catchy cadences, often harmonizing with the lead guitars. They do lack some immediate appeal, as they seem at first to be an uncompromising slew of guttural goblin groans and squeals, as if said goblin was being roasted alive like a rotisserie chicken. But one starts to appreciate them, in just how often they act as a counterpoint to the purity of the guitarwork- and not only that, but also in how they have a certain coarse grit and colour that is uniquely satisfying. In fact, for all the shortcomings glum audiophiles could apportion onto this album’s production, there is a certain friable yet icy crispiness to the tone of the instrumentation in general that converts it into the musical equivalent of deep fried ice cream.

Those more miserable than myself might find pleasure in calling this album and band moreover generic. But that is an (objective) failing in their own taste, as there is nothing wrong with a lack of technical innovation or muppetry, so long as the rhythm section is sound and the melodies are swaddled with quality, which is the case of Serpent’s whole discography. As a result, if you are a one policy voter when it comes to metal- and said policy is riffs (m/ m/), I highly recommend everything this band has done, as well as the side project that followed, Veiled In Scarlet. You will only regret it as time wasted if you’ve recently had your ears lopped off.

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user ratings (47)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 9th 2024


Album Rating: 5.0

wrote this one years ago but forgot to upload, which is heretical considering how gud the ablum actually is m/ m/ give it a suss if you can

June 9th 2024


I need to jam this one, their first album kills

June 10th 2024


Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Never understood the high rating for this band, they came across as a cheap Kalmah worship to me

June 10th 2024


Been meaning to check this band out for such a long time but cannot find them on any streaming service.

June 10th 2024


Album Rating: 5.0

you heard of soulseek zac? if not welcome to the god's country

and yeh kusan i never really got around to kalmah. but for sure they always reminded me of the best parts of children of bodom which aint nothing but a gud thing m/

June 12th 2024


Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Yeah they felt like a hybrid of Kalmah and COB but not in the good way sadly.

June 13th 2024


Gotta hear this. First album kicks ass. Awesome review!

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