It tends to be that when a band chooses to incorporate multiple styles into their particular brand of sonic madness that two is the maximum that many tend to go for. Whether it’s to keep things simple or the fear of losing the band’s desired sound in trying to incorporate too much into their sound, it’s the bane of many that hundreds of acts do well to dodge. But, not all are so afraid to dive into the deep end of sonic madness. On their latest, Serpentrance is just one example of a fearless act that simultaneously feels as though it was handmade to instill fear into any soul of its listeners.
There isn’t a single iota of this grand chaos of bloodied darkness that doesn’t have any of the big three extreme metal styles, and it’s downright staggering to really fall into this record for it’s not only a blistering array of extreme metal the likes of which would be hard to find elsewhere in such capacity but the raw fortitude of “Akra Tapeinosis” is the definition of intimidating. It’s in every given minute of this effort that Serpentrance feels like it’s achieving two goals that constitute what many acts of this kind are almost always clamoring to make whether they know it or not: (1) a truly godless sound that’s as fascinating as it is dark, and (2) a captivating sound that’s as harrowing as it is unrelenting. There’s very little of what all is poured into “Akra Tapeinosis” that doesn’t make it a truly unnatural beast the likes of which makes turning away a true task for the mind is immediately inquisitive as to just what level of depravity the band is willing to go for this performance, and it’s in each and every track that Serpentrance not only keeps going further with each note, but each piece really shows us the true meaning and power behind their particular brand of darkness. From a trudging heaviness to blistering fury to bone-crushing power, “Akra Tapeinosis” not only delivers on its promise of ungodly power, but it brings to us a fresh level of insanity the likes of which we rarely get with every visage definitely being something to behold by all accounts.
It would be a real task to argue anything other than the fact that Serpentrance really went all in for their performance with this record such that it’s almost physically stunning to listen to as this band seems to go out of its way at every turn to deliver impactful performances that are just as competent as they are vicious. Just to have a competent song off of “Akra Tapeinosis” would have been enough to catch my ear, but to accomplish that for the entirety of the record is to achieve something truly spectacular by all accounts for metal this extreme.
LISTEN to “Akra Tapeinosis” on Bandcamp here.
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