ALBUM REVIEW: Serpent Of Old – Ensemble Under The Dark Sun


 

Somewhere deep in the recesses of a troubled soul, the pure darkness and bleak machinations of Ensemble Under The Dark Sun (Transcending Obscurity) materialized, and it’s not for the faint of heart.

 

Serpent Of Old’s latest record spawns a six-pack of cutting, biting, and slicing tracks, all possessed by a demonic entity that creates a chilling pall overhead. The deeper you plunge into the malaise, the more layered the album becomes, Each cog in the band independently conjures feelings of fright and discomfort.

 

The drumming is assertive and concussive (‘From The Impending Dusk’) while also being crippling and paralyzing (‘The Fall’). Every single kick, blast, and hit chills to the bone. And don’t fall prey to the guitars, usually an instrument of technicality and serenity. Here, the strings combine into riffs that fire off like Rambo’s minigun. The one particular on ‘Unsaturated Hunger and Esoteric Lust’ is scything. The “melody” found on ‘The Sin Before The Great Sin’ is appropriately bothersome and unsettling.

 

Enhancing all of this is not only the vocals but the subterranean, girthy production. ‘The Fall’ is a filthy trudge through a war zone. ‘The Sin’ is dripping with blasphemy. ‘From The Impending Dusk’ is a caustic conglomeration of catastrophic proportions. Impressively, the vocals consistently meet the challenges laid down by the rhythm section, mimicking that same edge, that same hellish tenacity.

 

 

The only respite on Ensemble is ‘Virtue Of The Devil In His Loins,’ which Serpent Of Old mercifully uses as rest, or at least their interpretation of rest.

When all is said and done, this album is exhausting and taxing. The wretched nature instills an omnipresent disdain that permeates throughout. It’s rigorous and temperamental. Better yet, it’s just mental.

 

Buy the album here:

https://serpentofold.bandcamp.com/album/ensemble-under-the-dark-sun

 

7 / 10

MATT COOK