Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Serpent View: "From Darkness To Light"

My girl friend refers to this band as the "Only Lovers Left Alive" band. Because she says and rightfully so that it sounds like the music played by the lead character in that film, as reclusive vampire rock star  played by Tom Hiddleston, you know Loki. It carries a little more heft and a little less middle eastern influence."Gather the Wood" has a ritualistic throb driven by the drums which are the stars of this album. The guitar tone isn't shabby. It has crunch, but this is far from being big dumb metal."The Sun is Going Down" is almost an extension of the opener. The bass is more present and drags the song along with it's thunder.I would say these guys do not sound like they are from France , but the French metal scene is pretty diverse. The guitar which fills the place where the vocals would be finds the melody before rumbling off to pound into the groove the rest of the band has found. When they groove they do so is a more traditional doom sense, a shade darker than say St Vitus.

The second song plod a little more than the opener.It's two minutes longer, but they hang on the one riff for longer than needed if those two minutes really seem drawn out.In final minutes of the song the guitar takes of on a dynamic wander before congealing back into the doom stomp.They return to their more exotic style on "A Sleep is Faking Death" this finds the band being as heavy sonically as they are heavy metal. The punch into the doom lumber and the drums take off for a swirling hypnotic beat.They really know how to milk their dynamics and kick in with the two ton hammer.Time stops during this song, it seems longer than it is and not becomes I'm bored but rather the lull of their tone drags you into it.They build momentum that it seems they will stumble over , but instead they bull doze through.

It is almost like listening to a classical album as these seem more like pieces arranged from one massive work, rather than songs in the traditional sense. Perhaps this is due to the absences of vocals to help define these sections as their own entities.This song hit more of a drone than the two others. The chug at the mid way point is a pretty powerful testimony to how these guys can bring the heaviness. The creepy riff in the final minutes show you in one song how they approach this heaviness with grace. For an instrumental album it holds my attention longer than most. Instrumental albums tend to find themselves relegated to becoming back ground music so keeping me engaged is note worthy accomplishment so I'll give this on an 8.5.

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