SERPENT NOIR “Seeing Through The Shadow Consciousness (Open Up The Shells)”

Release Date: September, 2012

Label: Daemon Worship Productions

So here we are! During a year full of some very good, numerous good, even more mediocre or bad and very few truly exceptional records (I can remember only MGLA and MASTER’S HAMMER for the time being) in the blackmetal genre, finally I feel that something Great in front of me. With a tendency to become even Greater in the future I would say.

It’s SERPENT NOIR from Athens, Greece, who, after introducing themselves to us two year ago, showing good potential through their “Sanguis XI” EP, come back to stir the waters of a music that at least as far as 2012 is concerned, was experiencing a disappointing lack of danger. The secret of Yannis and his well chosen companions (Archfiend Devilpig from EMBRACE OF THORNS and Belfagor of OFERMOD/NEFANDUS fame) is detachment from any restrictivetechniques, yet without degeneratingin any case the blackmetal substance of their sound. If the EP was conquered, at least to some extend, from the Swedish orthodox school (i.e. the aforementioned OFERMOD as well as TRIUMPHATOR/FUNERAL MIST/early WATAIN), here we witness the import of a broader logic such as the wonderfully satanic FROST-ian rock’n’roll of “Dragon Egregore” or the hypnotic/endoscopic ambient parts of tracks like the opening “Allies From The Black Sun Universe” and the second part from “Voids Of Samael”.

On the other hand, what can one say about the shape-shifting style reminiscent of the latter DHG era (especially “Supervillain…” I would say)? As far as I can think, no other Hellenic band in he last few years has incorporated so successfully that many elements (most of whom are summarized in the a-m-a-z-i-n-g “Black Sphere”) in just one record; maybe only ACRIMONIOUS with “Purulence” have succeeded in a similar way. Without any sign of a intentionally “bad” production (that as much coldness it produced back in 1992, now produces an equal amount of laughter), but on the contrary with a clinic riffing (almost at the borders of death metal logic), “Seeing Through The Shadow Consciousness (Open Up The Shells)” makes it clear that the Devil’s major weapon is only one: constant flexibilitiy in changing its shape until he finds and hits right on the weak spot of every human being.

Should anything here upset me, that is listening to the record without the necessary companionship of its lyrics; that however will soon be fixed with the official release. I would urge you to do the same, since here words and notes are inextricably bound, but above all DO NOT pass this record casually! For those that hold blackmetal as something higher that just a “noisy evil music” for time to pass by, such releases (should) be established as eternal reference points.

~ by antifleshnimbus on August 15, 2012.

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