Release Date: May, 2015
Label: Daemon Worship Productions
How many times, during the past few years, did we stand “frozen” upon listening to a new release and even more when we already knew the band? How many times did we feel that “everything here is as it should be”? How many times, especially those of us in our 30s and above, did we find that magical aura that many of the 90s albums carried due to the tremendous impression of “flowing” they left?
SERPENT NOIR come from Piraeus, from Athens, from Sweden and from the whole world (of course a world different than what most of us understand) to emphatically cover all of the above; and even more! Following them from their very beginning, the “Sanguis XI” EP back in 2010, I believed that by now I would know what to expect from “Erotomysticism” (what a revolutionary title for such a release!) and the disproof came loud and clear. After the dreamy flute of the opening track, the “Veritable Red Dragon” with its sharp guitar and the deep vocals from Kostas creates an illusion that things will move around the fields of the predecessor (“Seeing Through The Shadow Consciouness”), before “Ayin” comes, bringing early TIAMAT (of “Astral Sleep” era) in mind, and provides the first shivers of surprise, weaving strange lead melodies under is thick blackmetal riffs. “There are other worlds, alternative realities as well as parallel universes to enter and explore…” as the booklet reads. Every track of SERPENT NOIR is exactly this; pay attention to a group of frequencies and a path will be revealed to you. Concentrate to another wave length and you will be lead –at the same time!– elsewhere…
“Al Runa”, as story on its own, enchants us as its ritual drums create a stifling, stressful atmosphere that fits with following excerpt: “Man has become a creator, the promise of the Serpent. But will Man handle the creation?”. Thomas Karlsson (Dragon Rouge founder and a leading occultist and writer) honours this creation with his lyrics throughout the record as well as his voice on the aggressive “Desert Of Azazel” which, in an abstract way, reminds us of Ihsahn’s verses on “A Song Of Liberty” from “Theme’s From William Blake’s…” for those who remember. The sex magick ceremony (admired by those who haven’t surrendered to the sexual cheapness of modern times) of “The Initiatrice Of A’arab Zaraq” and the spiritual liberation flowing out of the second flute (and not only that) track, “Ayahuasca”, transform the second half of the album into something less direct yet more transcendental with an intermediate, temporary restoration of blackmetal reality coming from the SERPENT NOIR trademark sounds of “The Dioscuri Of Darkness”.
I do not use (in fact I don’t think I’ve ever done it before) to write about music records on a track-by-track basis yet “Erotomysticism” left me with no other choice with its experiential, trippy personality. If you expected from me occult analyses and unspoken demon names you lost. Others have written about that better and I refer you to them (in fact some of them collaborate in this release). I only came here to express my admiration and my connection to a gathering of people that came together, around the core vision of Yannis K. and under the wings of the Drakon, to channel the primordial energies. Those energies we feel crawling up our spine and into the ditches of our brains when we stand barefoot on the damp soil of the earth.
PS. As some may have noticed, there is no reference to the last track of the record, “Mephistophelian Pacts”. The omission was on purpose. For the journey never ends…