Monday, 26 January 2015

In The Company of Serpent - Merging In Light EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 21/12/2014
Label: Self Release

Merging In light LP//DD track listing:

1 Breed, Consume, Die (07:23)
2 Third Mind (04:30)
3 A Union of Opposites (09:40)

In the Company of Serpents are:

Brown Notes & Scratchy Throat | Grant Netzorg
Skins | Joseph Weller Myer


Hailing from Denver, Colorado, In The Company of Serpents are back with an EP which is absolutely perfect and depressing in its sound. It’s a thunderous and downtuned beast. It couldn’t have been released on a better day than the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. How this duo can make such a thunderous, epic, filthy and sludgy sound is bewildering, nonetheless I’m bewitched.

I first heard about the band when they released ‘Of The Flock’. I thought that record was a masterpiece but I lost it somewhere in the flood of good music released last year. I’m very honoured and excited to rediscover the band again.  For me ‘Of The Flock and their self titled debut fell somewhere between Church of Misery and Electric Wizard  spliced with the mighty Black Sabbath, but I think fans of High On Fire will also be delighted with the band’s sound. ‘Merging the Light’ continues in the same vein but the songs are more focused and more aggressive.

The EP opener “Breed, Consume, Die” is a monstrous tune that pushes the boundaries for what heavy music could be. It starts with a beautiful intro but after that you get a sense of the sludge-infused doom metal, the type of which ITCOS are well-known for. The record has a nice balance between groove and sheer ugliness.  The muddy guitar tone and the riffing keep my mind interested and excited during the entire record. Grant’s voice sometimes reminds me of Kirk Windstein but with a much more raspy delivery, it is the sound of fire straight from the mouth of Hell.  Lyrically the song seem to be about humanity’s need to work so they can consume bullshit stuff that doesn’t enrich our lives.  

The track ‘Third Mind’ could be one of the best the band has produced to date, the fuzz-laden distortion and the rhythmic groove has the intensity of a Ten Ton Hammer banging against your head and fills me with joy and happiness.  This is the way music always should be. The song is completed with the dissonance from a swirling, razor sharp solo stabbing you in the throat, and ‘how I love feeling, like I’m gasping for breathe’.

The EP closer ‘A Union of Opposites’ could be the absolute opposite to the previous song and is perhaps their most dynamic song so far. Tribal drumming opens the track, with tremolo picking and the absolute beautiful atmospheric aura. The vocals are anguished and tormented and both mournful and soulful at the same time.

If I have to say one negative thing about the record, it would be that it is way too short. Only 22 minutes but on the other hand it means that I can repeat it many times on my way to work.  This is a band that I will come back to a lot and for me this could be a record we will remember as a classic in the future

Words by:  Sven-Åke Alveving

You can pick up the limited LP/DD here.

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