Serpent Venom – Demo (2010)   Leave a comment

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Some bands remain in obscurity for a long time and then suddenly something clicks and they are launched into the minds of people by a sudden rush of Internet reviews and articles. This seems to be the case with Serpent Venom from London, England. When i first got this 3 track Ep or is a demo, (i don’t really know what it is) information about the band was scarce and now within the last month, their name is everywhere i go. The buzz surrounding the band is warranted though because this a killer release that needs to heard before they explode into the minds and ears of the Doom/Stoner underground everywhere. Serpent Venom was formed by members of bands such as Blood Island Raiders and Sloth but apart from that, i really know little about them. The band is classic Stoner/Doom in the vein of Candlemass, Count Raven, Penance, St Vitus, Pentagram, The Obsessed, Electric Wizard, Black Sabbath and especially Cathedral but they are hardly a recycled version of any of these bands. Serpent Venom has a everything going for them, a warm, rich sound from guitarist Pete. Drummer Paul has a pulverizing, powerful groove while vocalist Gaz has a commanding voice that sits somewhere in the middle of Wino and Eric Wagner(ex-Trouble).

The first time you hear “Four Walls of Solitude”, you know you are in for a special treat, this track is crawling mass of bombastic Doom Metal. The low-end fuzz ridden sound is propelled by drumming that accents every chord stroke of the guitar creating a sound that is beyond heavy in places. The bass player Nick has a full, throbbing sound that blends in perfectly with the monster of a drum sound, meanwhile the vocals wail out in a old-school classic style. Vocalist Gaz isn’t the greatest singer on earth but he has a vocal sound that is distinctive enough to make him stand out amongst other vocalists. He has a perfect combination of melody and rawness and i don’t even like singers that much but this dude made me take some note. “Four Walls Of Solitude” stumbles along for close to 10 minutes, never losing any of its over-powering sonic pleasures along the way. The solo in the middle of the track sounds weird at first, its distorted and kind of buried within the mix but it strangely gives off a very unusual effect that works. “Under The Compass” sounds like Witchcraft if they dropped their hippie musical values and played total true doom, its about as old-school as you can get. Classic riffing twists and turns in true Sabbath worshiping style, played with a slow bluesy groove. “Under The Compass” is pure Doom Metal gold and its the weakest track on the EP which shows you how strong this recording is.

Just when you think, it can’t get anymore crushing along comes “The Outsider”. This is where its at, forget all that Goth-Doom fairytale crap, this is 100% Doom Metal, the way its meant to be. No gimmicks or pathetic stabs at being melodramatic, this is a blues-driven slab of Retro-Doom but without sounding cheesy like a lot of other 70’s wannabe bands. “The Outsider” is such a seizure-inducing Doom track, so heavy that it almost gets crushed by the weight of its own delivery. The guitar and bass tones are very much in the classic mold of early 70’s Sabbath, warm, rich and throbbing and without a doubt the best sound i have heard from a new band in the last year. The mid-paced time changes send a shiver up the spine and are enough to give you the musical equivalent of a hard-on!! Throw in some down tuned wah-wah fuzzy guitar sections and you get something that is purely monolithic. This is a band where using clichés is the only way of describing them and sure, there is nothing new here but when its this good, who the hell cares. I can’t say enough good things about Serpent Venom, but this EP just maybe is the doom release of 2010. Time will tell but beating this chunk of sonic bliss will be a challenge for any band. If Serpent Venom doesn’t become the next Stoner/Doom super-group from the UK, then i might as well give up on life itself. Please torture us no longer, deliver a full length album ASAP!! This EP is amazing. 10/10


Posted April 27, 2010 by doommantia in Serpent Venom

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