Review: Serpents Lair – Demo MMXIV

Posted: September 26, 2014 in ALERT: Awesome new music, Band of the Day, Demo Review, Reviews
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Denmark’s Serpents Lair are the latest in a long line of quality black metal discoveries for me. This two man project has a two track demo available on their Bandcamp page, and a limited run of 200 cassettes available through Duplicate Records in Europe and Fallen Empire Records in the US.

The demo itself is two, reasonably lengthy black metal tracks of excellent quality. ‘Labyrinthine Offerings’ is first, opening with a lurching riff that rings out with atonal melodies. It then descends into a hellish assault on the senses, a flailing uncomfortable entity. It is dense, dark and suffocatingly evil. It has that unsettling quality you find in Blut Aus Nord or Deathspell Omega’s style of black metal, particularly the clearer, slower and more malevolently minor key section in the middle. It then plummets back to the blasting maelstrom of darkness. A simply stunning statement of intent.

‘Epistemology of Death’ has a lot to follow, and follow it does with almost nine minutes of majestic, roaring black metal. This is a more traditional beast, taking more influence from the icy blasts of Immortal and the sweeping grandeur of early Satyricon. Even the vastness of ‘In the Nightside Eclipse’ seems to loom over proceedings, Serpents Lair taking notes from each of these legends but creating something of their own.

Serpents Lair’s demo is truly ace. Two songs that both fulfill expectations easily, their sense of scale and atmosphere are both perfect, and their adventurous spirit is another huge positive. It is NOT ok in this day and age to simply put out uninteresting, monochrome black metal. To paint in shades of grey is the way forward, and Serpents Lair are artists in this form.

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