Dripping with pure evil, Serpentine Path continues its descent into hell with its sophomore album, Emanations. The NYC sludge/doom specialists slither forward with deliberate hesitation, inviting listeners into their dark pit with a seven song full length album that is sure to please followers.
Sludge may describe the crawling pace but doom captures the bleak atmosphere of Emanations. Serpentine Path are adept at setting a mood and allowing for individual mental excursions. The distinction between tracks obviously quick to detect for the trained doom/sludge junkie, but to a novice the dense fog of wonderfully laborious sound is enjoyable as well.
Stepping with authority, a quicker guitar than I anticipated, Essence of Heresy stalks aggressively, screaming gravel and shreds of bloody glass. The ending abrupt, only because the black cloud hovering over felt to dismally perfect. No grave concern, as House of Worship drags back into action describing sacred burial grounds for inhabitants not welcome. For the death metal purists, a bit of an offering worthy considering.
Claws, with its rip your organs out, one by one torture, is the complete antithesis musically of Piece By Piece (Slayer). The gruesome similarity found both in the hide yourself under the sheets lyrics and the musical quality. Serpentine Path is precise and deliberate, standing over you smiling while your writhe in pain, but efficient in that their deliberateness still has focus and purpose. The guitar solo in Claws is surgical, an unexpected element that doesn’t detract from the misery.
Heavy mallet chords strum along the thickest of bass sounds in Disfigured Colossus. This is as up-tempo power grinding prettiness as you’re going to find from these dealers of agony, and the devil still drags his feet and pitchfork. Systematic Extinction drinks from the same stagnant water as Black Sabbath, but is more filthy and full of despair. Certainly Serpentine Path have spent many an hour willingly trapped in the suffocating air of Tony Iommi, his fingers indirectly caressing this work. Nothing like the title, Torment is another slow ride south to the abyss. The guitar rhythmically plods along, drums bashing, wearing out the high-hat, dictating slow doom metal torture. Serpentine Path dish out a bit of groove throughout. Emanations, just enough to keep the smell of death a perfect rotten, and that slight touch of diversity adds quality. Torment, the prime example of a hint of move and shake, still drowns happily in a well of anger, but we can feel the monster moving a bit.
Virgin territory no more for me, it thrills me to proclaim Emanations as disgusting and disastrous, nothing short of what I hoped for. The next time I venture into the metal netherworld I can only hope I can walk a path as chaotic and desperate as this one. Serpentine Path has captured another victim.
Shepherd Says- 7.5/10
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