REVIEWED: Skeletal Serpent (Self-titled EP)
From the twisted torture-scape of seething underground metal that is Blackened Death Records comes yet another deliciously dark, diabolical treat. The thrilling debut EP from London-based rising stars Skeletal Serpent combines the raw, demonic vocals of Blackened’s Pope Richard with the monstrous music of skilled newcomer Andy Kang to confidently inhabit the realm of classic death with true panache.
Surging forth from their subterranean lair, Skeletal Serpent spew up brutal, face-melting blasts of scorching death with a sullied edge of doom straight from their fearful, foaming maw. This sinister serpent goes straight for the jugular with three short but far from sweet tracks that alternately sting and stimulate the senses with poisonous, stirring venom.
'Skeletal Remains' gets the EP off to a rousing start with frantic, aggressive drumming and fevered, heavy riffs, while 'Bone Collector' is as chillingly unsettling as the name suggests. Both tracks roll and revel in deep, drawn out chords that drag across the senses like venomous claws, before speeding up the drum-work and battering the ears with arresting, glorious frenzies of sound. 'Serpentagram' leaves the listener momentarily bewildered as the music twists and coils around them in a writhing madness that goes from sinuously slow to heart-thudding fast, until a melancholy instrumental ascends from the chaos and finishes the EP with a profound, mysterious gravity.
Although deftly exploring the usual tropes that characterise typical death metal, Skeletal Serpent also have a fiendish quality that is uniquely their own, the insane combo of fast, energetic tempos and the more measured creeping riffs offering a fresh take that echoes in the mind like the maniacal laughter of the Pope at the end of Bone Collector. Dark Matter waits with baited breath to see what Skeletal Serpent will do next. Hackneyed purveyors of the genre had better watch their worn-leather backs; this enraged, just-hatched beast is sharpening its fangs and getting set to strike.
'Skeletal Serpent' is out now on Blackened Death
For more on Skeletal Serpent, visit www.blackeneddeath.bandcamp.com/album/skeletal-serpent