Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 11/09/2012
Label: Relapse Records
1) Arrows: 05:00
2) Crotalus Horridus Horridus: 06:27
3) Bats Amongst Heathens: 03:51
4) Beyond The Dawn Of Time: 06:40
5) Obsoletion: 05:30
6) Aphelion: 03:06
7) Compendium Of Suffering: 04:51
8) Only A Monolith Remains: 06:30
Total running time: 41:59
Serpentine Path formed in New York in 2011 and released a 7inch with 2 tracks called Erebus/Depravity on Parasitic Records back in February. Now signed to Relapse Records they release their Self Titled debut album 8 tracks and 43 minutes long, and I gotta say it’s an absolute fucking beast mixing vicious death/doom vocals with slab heavy guitars and rhythm section. Slow gut churning riffs fine accenting drums and awesome gruff vocals, these ingredients will establish Serpentine Path high up in the doom scene. It’s difficult to really imagine the future of doom now there are so many sub-genres around, but giving the main two, i.e. true or traditional doom and heavy as fuck sludge ridden grime. Serpentine Path fit perfectly in the latter, their monolithic lumbering anthems, perfectly paced and structured songs complete with their pedigree and experience already make this debut a classic.
Current Line Up:
Ryan Lipynsky- (Vocals)
Jay Newman – (Bass)
Darren Verni – (Drums)
Stephen Flam – (Guitars)
Tim Bagshaw – (Guitars and Vocals)
Serpentine Path is basically all of Unearthly Trance one part Ramesses and one third Winter. New York’s Unearthly Trance broke up earlier in the summer, I assume to concentrate on this band. They met Tim Bagshaw in 2002 whilst touring with Electric Wizard, and struck up a friendship and desire to play together then. It was not until they finished recording the album that 2nd guitarist Stephen Flam from doom trio Winter joined.
Arrows starts us on our doom encrusted journey and even though vocalist Ryan Lipynsky is a excellent guitarist in his own right, his talents are not needed here, leaving him to concentrate on his surly vocals, giving the album it’s perfect balance and necessary high vocal mix. The second song here, Crotalus Horridus Horridus is one of the longest tracks , but at six and a half minutes does all it needs to in such a short time. These songs lumber along nicely not over stretched, I think well organised and quite a bit of time went into writing them, as they try successfully to structure these tunes so that the listening experience is perfect for this genre.
Not particularly challenging but Beyond The Dawn Of Time has a great way of keeping you transfixed even with its seriously slow pacing and drawn out sections, and at only 5 minutes you would think this great riff is lasting forever.
Obsoletion is my favourite song here as the guitar intro swings about like some kind of ape type beast demonstrating his masculinity. Aphelion is the shortest song but with real vibrant guitars and vocals it seems to almost stand alone as a proper doom tune, riffs fire at you with a backpack full of Vitus and Sabbath. Only A Monolith Remains is a typical wind down track keeping you hanging on for more as the end riff fades to black. I would love to see this band tour the UK with bands like Undersmile and Conan. Expect great genre defining things from them.
Written by: John Slaymaker
Thanks to Pip at Relapse Records for hooking us up with the album for the review. It truly is a monolithic slab of heaviness, that needs your attention immediately. You can purchase the CD here, Vinyl here and digitally here. As usual, splease support this brilliant band and check the links below.