Serpents Spawn – Demo 2007

As the years in metal wear on, ‘extreme metal’ as an entity seems to be getting more steadily congealed into one genre. Obviously, the majority of bands stick to death or black metal alone and keep at it, but we’re steadily seeing more and more of bands who are simply unable to do one thing at a time. Serpents Spawn, a Canadian extreme metal band, is following this trend with a loose combination of death, black, and thrash metal. Their 2007 debut demo, while unrefined, does possess some interesting ideas to be expanded upon in the future.

The riffing on this twelve-minute piece is pretty solid. There’s a good range of atmospheric death and black metal riffs that work effectively within the context of the music. However, they’re at the mercy of a somewhat unfocused structure. While all the pieces of these songs are individually solid, they seem to be jumbled together rather hastily, resulting sections, not tracks, that you remember. This is a flaw the befalls numerous young bands; a knowledge of what sounds good, but not how to link what sounds good together. Often, transfers between movements are done in an awkward stop/start fashion (the end of ‘Celestial Being’), ruining the flow of the music.

Unlike many of these fusion bands, which typically excel at the death metal component of their music while leaving the other parts as tertiary concerns, Serpents Spawn’s black metal elements are easily the best. The chunking groove DM riffs are solid enough, but the band really shines on songs like closer ‘Slaughter And Pillage’, the tremolo riffs of which are by far the most evocative and atmospheric on the demo. I think one of the major issues facing Serpents Spawn is production; instruments are rather distant and muddied, while the vocals are too loud and forward, sounding as if they were recorded directly into a computer while the others were recorded analogue. The budget microphone used doesn’t help things either, with the scream that concludes ‘Celestial Being’ ripping right through the fragile limits of what it can handle and distorting everything around it.

While Serpent Spawn’s music is currently unrefined, it will only take time for this young band to develop into their own. There are plenty of concepts present here to elaborate on; they just need to develop naturally.

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~ by noktorn on March 24, 2007.

One Response to “Serpents Spawn – Demo 2007”

  1. Cant fucking wait guys!

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