Tuesday, 1 November 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Holy Serpent - "Temples"


By Theron Moore

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 30/09/2016
Label: Riding Easy Records



All in all, “Temples” is a great record.  Holy Serpent nailed it.  The songs are well crafted, well-structured, the vocals are right on and the music is perfect parts psych, doom, sludge and out right heaviness.  Don’t hesitate, buy “Temples” immediately.

Temples” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Purification By Fire
2. Bury Me Standing
3. Toward The Sands
4. The Black Stone
5. Sativan Harvest

The Review:

The snake is writhing; the storm is brewing from beginning to end with “Temples.” Clocking in at 43:19 seconds, Holy Serpent delivers five songs the way music was meant to sound – heavy, psychedelic, fuzzed out sludge. And the Serpent, on this their second record, have seemingly perfected their sound.  I point this out because it usually takes most bands several records, maybe three or four, to truly dig deep within themselves and pinpoint their musical identity and really work that out on a sonic level.  Holy Serpent managed to do just that right here. 

The band is re-inventing the wheel with this record, they’re making said wheel much more efficient and effective.  Its better parts Cathedral and Sleep, fused together, performed as only Holy Serpent can.  The bass and guitars drive this record.  Heavy wah-wah, down tuned, low end, that dance and play around a wall of distortion, mapping song routes and musical direction for singer Scott Penberthy’s hypnotic, almost dream-like vocals that define and carry each song.  Temples” isn’t doom or sludge for the sake of such.  The songs are well done, well structured, that speak to you on visceral levels, stimulating cortex and neurotransmitters.  They’re easy to connect with and stay connected with.   

Purification by Fire” opens the record with a somewhat sinister, ominous vibe, building and prodding along, laying the foundation of what to expect with “Temples.”   Slow, methodical and dirge-like at times, is a great way to describe second song “Toward the Sands,” however, there’s a buried gem at the 6:25 mark with an up tempo Sabbath meets Cathedral boogie-groove type section, which quite frankly, I’d like to have heard more of, but, what a cool way to cap off the end of this song, I really dug it, it fit perfectly. 

Bury Me Standing,” track three, reminds me a lot of Sleep but changes tempo and goes full on Serpent.  The guitar parts on this song are remarkable, they really guide this track from start to finish.  Sativan Harvest,” like “Toward the Sands,” hits that melancholy, dirge like vibe again, but harder, slower, allowing Holy Serpent to showcase that sheer wall of sound technique they’ve been developing throughout this record. 

Capping off “Temples” is “The Black Stone,” a dreamy, psychedelic slab of distortion laden goodness that properly ends the record.  All in all, “Temples” is a great record.  Holy Serpent nailed it.  The songs are well crafted, well-structured, the vocals are right on and the music is perfect parts psych, doom, sludge and out right heaviness.  Don’t hesitate, buy “Temples” immediately.

Temples” is available here
Band info: bandcamp || facebook

FFO: Sleep, Black Sabbath, Cathedral, Electric Wizard

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