Serpent Cult - _Trident Nor Fire_
(I Hate Records, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8.5 out of 10)
Serpent Cult formed out of the ashes of Thee Plague of Gentlemen, which summarily disbanded after their well-received debut _Primula Pestis_, when their frontman was arrested on child molestation charges. Unsurprisingly, the remaining members wanted nothing more to do with him, to the extent that their debut has been deleted from the catalogue at their request. (Thus ensuring that it will become a collectible cult item, and increased downloads on the proliferating file-sharing networks.)

The non-paedophile members have regrouped and enlisted one Michelle for vocal duties on this, their debut MCD, which is presumably a precursor for an upcoming full-length. At a time when heavenly voices dominate, it really is unusual for a woman vocalist to simply do what her male counterpart would do, in providing an energetic and competent complement to their downtuned riffing. She does not indulge in vocal acrobatics, and actually provides some decent death grunts on occasion.

Also included is a cover of Uriah Heep's "Rainbow Demon". I haven't heard the original, but it is the weakest song on this MCD -- and when a cover is the weakest song, that's usually a good sign.

As the MCD progressed, it seemed to more of a stoner rock album than a doom album. Sure, there are some slowed down riffs that are undeniably doom, but the album as a whole is just a bit too upbeat for any substyle of doom. Any possible future albums are likely to lean increasingly further towards stoner rock; but whether I choose to call this stoner rock or doom is of little importance, as the EP remains a worthwhile listen and a promising start to the reincarnation of their careers.

Contact: http://www.ihate.se

(article published 27/7/2007)


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