Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Serpent Venom - Carnal Altar (2011)

Serpent Venom are one of those bands that straddles the fence between stoner and traditional sounding doom. The band's lyrical content and imagery falls into the Electric Wizard/Saturnalia Temple category, but the music itself leans slightly towards the realm of the deceased Reverend Bizarre, though SV is infinitely slower in their approach. Actually, SV and fellow Brits, Witchsorrow seem to have been torn from the same cloth as they both take the slow-as-molasses trad style to new heights (or is it lows?) coupled with both band's lyrical mysticism and fondness for the occult.

One of the main elements that pushes SV in the more traditional doom territory are the vocals of Gaz Ricketts (previously of England's Sloth), which wouldn't sound out of place were they embellishing the riffs of Warning or Hour of 13. The riffs themselves are slightly more stoner sounding than the vocals would have you believe. One of the selling points for me are the band's persistent and masterful use of trills, which for me, are an essential ingredient in the creation of tasteful doom, stoner, trad or otherwise.

I'm definitely looking forward to the future of this young and promising band. Doom on!

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