Thy Serpent - _Forests of Witchery_
(Spinefarm Records, 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (
This is being marketed as black metal, which is about as accurate as calling Anthrax a death metal band. The front cover features the typical "northern forest" photo, and the back showcases yet another corpse-painted, pencil-necked geek posing with a snake - but the music is awful easy on the ears. Come on, guys: quit sucking up to the trend and just be honest, okay? You're a metal band. Though containing gothic atmosphere, needlessly long songs, and raspy vocals, this is still heavy metal all the way - slap-happy rock beats and "hot licks" included. Actually, it's not quite -that- bad, but it's a far cry from metallic extremity. Anyway, let's give credit where credit is due: opener "Flowers of Witchery Abloom" is a real cool song, clean guitars and stirring keys combining to generate strong feeling and tangible momentum. "Traveler of Unknown Plains" and "Like a Funeral Veil of Melancholy" have their moments too, but most of the music on this very well-produced release is just sort of... there. If you like metal that has just a -little- bit of power and just a -little- bit of edge, then Thy Serpent are definitely your thing.
(article published 2/1/1997)
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