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Serpent Column - Endless Detainment review




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Reviewer:
8.0

25 users:
7.24
Band: Serpent Column
Album: Endless Detainment
Style: Black metal
Release date: March 2020


01. Pantheoclasm
02. Violence Aesthete
03. Manure In Pearls
04. Wars Waged In Private I
05. Wars Waged In Private II
06. Antihelical
07. Άράχναιν
08. Endless Detainment
09. Each And Every Temple

How hardcore-infused and chaotic does black metal have to be before we admit that it's mathcore?

I really liked Serpent Column's previous album, Mirror In Darkness, and I really wasn't the only one, considering the amount of attention and praise that album got in certain circles. I got to know it mostly from its label/collective Mystikaos. You may have heard of them. And along its psychedelic black metal peers, Serpent Column did stand out a bit, but they also embraced the transcendental ethos of the bunch. As technical or left-field as the music was, it still had a sense of atmosphere, though a very disorienting one.

A fellow reviewer described Mirror In Darkness as "a puzzling, prog-infused black metal of a particularly unique variety", and that still stands for Endless Detainment as well. But Serpent Column's releases have been getting more chaotic with time, and this is certainly no exception. Endless Detainment is an EP, something which Serpent Column are no strangers to, but their previous EP had a 30 minutes runtime compared to Endless Detainment's 20, so this one deserves its EP categorization more fully. And honestly it actually works better with its reduced runtime due to its utter intensity, something that may have been pushed to 30 minutes, but it would've been either saturated or exhausting. Now instead, it leaves me aching for a replay.

And this time around the black metal is more hardcore-infused and sporting chaotic riffs and blasts that often feel closer to Converge than anything Serpent Column did before. Needless to say, the performances here are insane, but I always looked at every step in this direction as "Oh, this technical black metal is much more chaotic". It wasn't until stumbling upon the band's profile on Metal-archives and seeing them tagged as "Avant-Garde Black Metal/Mathcore" that it struck me, and all the hardcore and math elements finally clicked with me as more than mere extensions of the black metal sounds, but more as standing on their own feet alongside the black metal. Sure, there are still recognizably black metal atmospheres, vocals and some more conventionally black metal moments, but this isn't a black metal album per say. And even before the revelation, hearing that bass on the opening track got me thinking "Man, this sounds like djent". But djent bands probably wish they would sound like that.

I think this has to do with our obsession with putting things into boxes, and also why most musicians I've talked to, who aren't actively trying to stick to a genre, don't really like the idea of genres in the first place. Sure, they're useful, especially since a huge part of our website is based on cataloging bands by genre. But it also gives us some wrong expectations in the way we approach things. The new Ulcerate may be too atmospheric for a death metal album. Opeth may not growl anymore. Oranssi Pazuzu may barely have any black metal left. And Serpent Column may be too chaotic for black metal.

So if you though black metal and hardcore fusions could only sound like either Kvelertak, Oathbreaker or Young And In The Way, here comes Endless Detainment to change your mind.






Written on 24.04.2020 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 54 users
25.04.2020 - 03:27
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
This really seems to be shaping up to be the year of EPs, huh? Zalmoxis, Dragged Into Sunlight, Sonic Prayer, this... probably a few others I'm just forgetting.

Good review, I'm a little mixed on the new sound though. At times feels a little too noisy and technical to really latch on to... maybe need to jam it a few more times.
----
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

~ II. VII
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25.04.2020 - 23:57
Lanthros
I kind of feel like this is what a wild inprov jazz band would sound like playing black metal on speed and acid.
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25.04.2020 - 23:59
Rating: 9
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Staff
Written by Lanthros on 25.04.2020 at 23:57

I kind of feel like this is what a wild inprov jazz band would sound like playing black metal on speed and acid.

And if that doesn't sell the record, I don't know what will
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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26.04.2020 - 02:23
Lanthros
Written by RaduP on 25.04.2020 at 23:59

Written by Lanthros on 25.04.2020 at 23:57

I kind of feel like this is what a wild inprov jazz band would sound like playing black metal on speed and acid.

And if that doesn't sell the record, I don't know what will

Lmfao that is a hell of a selling point.
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