Another Entombed album to add to your collection; well, what's it like. Is it as they always claim 'The New Wolverine Blues,' or is it a modern metal catastrophy?
Well I'm pleased to inform you that its probably the closest they've ever come to the new 'Wolverine Blues,' with just a pinch of 'Left Hand Path,' and oddly, some blastbeats for good measure!
Every song on the album is either a groovey Slayer song with some Sabbath
riffs or a Motherhead song done by Deicide.
This may sound like an insult, but listen to the record and you'll get a full cd's worth of perfectly crafted metal tunes with big nods to the classics (lyrically also in 'Masters of Death.')
Sounds great. So; why only FOUR stars? Well, the main problem with the album is that the guitar tones and mix, as well as L.G's voice intentionally sound like 'Left Hand Path,' and this album could be an absolute monster if they had produced it like 'Morning Star.'
Songs like 'Dead The Dying And The Dying To Be Dead,' and 'Thy Kingdom Coma,' would be a hundred times better with L.G's vocal style on 'Inferno,' and the production on 'Morning Star.'
So; Overall an album of heavy, classic metal tunes... that are damn close to perfect; let down just slightly by the Band's own atempts to keep the 80's die-hards happy.
That tiny niggle aside; buy this album, you'll love it to bits.
Despite owning a slew of Entombed records I must admit to having drifted away from the band for their last couple of albums, but the band tempted me back with all the talk of a return to their death metal roots: in actuality 'Serpent Saints' isn't the return of the classic 'Left Hand Path/Clandestine' Entombed, but neither is it the more lightweight 'death and roll' of the bands later material, instead it's a strange midpoint between the two.
There is certainly a big death metal influence here, with Entombed insisting in promotional interviews for this album that they are a death metal band and do not play 'death and roll', but while Entombed talk the talk they don't quite walk the walk. LG Petrov's vocals are incredibly raw, with death metal screaming far outwieghing any odd hints of melody; the lyrics to 'Masters of Death' is a virtual love letter to classic extreme bands such as Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, et al; there are even a few bursts of blastbeats in the drumming! On the flipside of this however the guitar seem a little thin in the mix, a long way from the classic 'buzzsaw' sound of the bands early albums, and the songwriting leans heavily towards the Motorhead school of rock.
Still, regardless of whatever the hell genre this is 'Serpent Saints' is a cracking album, stuffed full of quality riffs. Bonus points too for the oddness of 'Love Song For Lucifer' - a lullaby that develops into a rumble of Merzbow-like noise.
A good solid album.