Paroketh - Serpent Noir - Sanguis XI
Label: Adverse Order Music - none • Format: Cassette Mini-Album • Country: Australia • Genre: Rock • Style: Black Metal
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. Of all the deeply occultistic, magical black metal bands of recent years, this Greek group spews forth one of the most interesting efforts in the field under the moniker Serpent Noir and their debut EP Sanguis XI.
Even without any previous knowledge of the band, I was able to spot that certain Greek sound in the Welcome Song - The Minnesota Jobs Daughters - Behold We Are The Daughters Of Job, nodding to e.
Sanguis XI reeks of sinister magic in a truly authentic way - do not ignore the evocative lyrics that come along - so that all in all the EP is most certainly a success.
It's presentation might leave something to be desired, and the actual variety of the material might not always be pristine, but Serpent Noir's Sanguis XI EP presents a rather fascinating approach to the first wave of black metal.
Their prime motivator is obviously the Swiss legends Hellhammer or Celtic Frostbut they dowse the simple, thick and grimy barrage of mid-paced chords with a lot of atmosphere throughout, while keeping the songs tight and short and never really wearing out their welcome.
In addition, the vocalist has this dour, gravelly black bark which fits extremely well over the guitar tone, and he becomes quite manic and passionate through the three and a half tracks upon which the brute lyrics are used. I Paroketh - Serpent Noir - Sanguis XI I shouldn't be all that surprised, seeing that the front man here is Kostas of the great Greek death metal band Embrace of Thorns. He holds a similar resonance to that found on those albums, just a little more varied and painful.
The other veteran here is Michayah, a drummer that has played in a number of Swedsih bands Ofermod possibly the most known. They've really set up the recording well, with a freakish, ominous dark ambient intro in which deep synths measure off against other random noises. Then it's straight through a trio of muddy, grooving old school black metal pieces in "Midnight Consciousness", "Sorath Invocation" and "The Disputes", the Paroketh - Serpent Noir - Sanguis XI of which has a lot more reverb on the vocals for an unnerving effect.
You'll hear a couple clean, deeper vox also in "Midnight Consciousness" which also work despite their painful brevity. Later on the EP there is admittedly more variety, with the two part "Rituals Draconis" that opens with chanting, percussion and ambiance and ends with surges Paroketh - Serpent Noir - Sanguis XI clean guitars; while the finale, "The Eleventh Blood", opens up with a faster paced black metal segment the worst thing here and then closes with more brooding ambiance.
Ultimately, there's a lot of balance here, and as far as ritual black metal goes, this is one of the brighter new bands I've heard in the Hellenic scene. We'll have to wait and see what develops next, perhaps a full-length with some more varied grooves than the bulk Buttons And Bows - Various - The Fabulous 50s this, but I'd say they are off to quite a solid start.
Questions 67 & 68 - Chicago - Greatest Hits, Volume II, Los Shakers - Marilú / Si Lo Supiera Mamá, Sunshine (Dub Mix) - Warren Mills - Sunshine, Lies - Jermaine Stewart - What Becomes A Legend Most, Hermann Hagestedt Mit Seinem Orchester - Ballszenen / 1001 Nacht