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Dungeon Serpent - World of Sorrows

Dungeon Serpent
World of Sorrows
by Andrew Graham at 07 October 2021, 12:53 PM

One-man (Jesus, am I ever sick of all these bloody talented people!) Melodeath project SERPENT DUNGEON, from Vancouver, Canada unleash a debut album of truly epic proportions. Owing as much to the characteristic pure death metal sound of ENTOMBED, as well as the more specific melodic death metal tradition, the result is a stomping, brutal, yet tuneful collection of tracks that flow and weave melodies together into intricately epic musical tales.

“Necroscope” has the reek of nostalgia about it, conjuring up everybody’s first listen of Left Hand Path (1990). All the right characteristics are present: buzz saw guitar tone, the grumbly buzz of bass guitar, sandpaper vocals and machine-gun drums. The sound is certainly authentic! How about the music: relentless, pummeling, riddled with pained melodies? Yes to all the above! Arawn himself said he set out to take the classic Melodeath sound and infuse it with a greater degree of that classic European death metal sound – that he has most certainly achieved!

“Decay” opens in a brutal flurry of blast-beats and playful sweeping over guitar necks, hardly relenting for a moment in its aural assault. In its closing passages we fade into introspective synths and acoustic guitars – there’s real depth here. “Immortal Incubation” begins similarly unsubtly (I mean, why shouldn’t it?!), storming through it’s glorious four-and-a-half-minute rampage with uncompromising speed and brutality. “Cosmic Sorcery” begins with thoughtful acoustic and melodic notes, which recur half-way through after yet more pummeling might. There are changes in timing and melodies aplenty – an abundance of material to keep the listener engaged. The last minute is a piano melody that wouldn’t be out of place in early era NIGHTWISH. Really hammering home the fantasy element here!

“World Of Sorrows” is an eleven-minute masterclass in instrumental melodeath pomposity – and it’s absolutely bloody brilliant! Musical peaks and troughs, ranging from relentless riffage and blast-beats all the way down to mournful acoustic sections, Arawn really takes us on a journey of epic proportions – very much in fitting with a band name like DUNGEON SERPENT; anybody for Dungeons and Dragons? Once again, I find myself in the utterly joyful position of being able to heap high praise upon a band’s debut full-length release. Arawn has very clearly done his homework and paid close attention to the styles he has drawn from, whilst adding his own flair unique take on the genre. It’s gratifying to see that melodic death metal (at least in its classic form) is still alive and kicking, and in safe hands!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Necroscope
2. Decay
3. Immortal Incubation
4. Cosmic Sorcery
5. World Of Sorrows
Arawn – All Instruments and Vocals
Record Label: Nameless Grave Records


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