Serpentine Path – self-titled

By Gruesome Greg

What do you get when you take recently-disbanded NYC doomsters Unearthly Trance and add Tim Bagshaw, of Electric Wizard and Ramesses fame? Well, this new unit’s debut album drops September 11th on Relapse, so read on to find out…

Right off the bat, you can tell this is one heavy vegetable; slow, punishing doomy riffs with deep-throated death metal growls. Winter is a definite reference here, albeit this record sounds thicker and sludgier, presumably because it wasn’t recorded in a basement. And though Bagshaw moves from bass to guitar in this outfit, you can definitely hear the effect of years of playing with Jus Oborn in some of his riffs. (Of course, he’s also the axeman for Ramesses…)

Unfortunately, there isn’t much more than Winter worship here. Though songs vary in length from three to almost seven-minutes long, there isn’t a whole lot of variation in tone and tempo, the band trodding along the same beaten path as those NYC doomsters of 20 years ago. Mind you, if that kind of uber-slow death-doom is your thing, you might dig this more than I did.

(Relapse)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.