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Serpents In Paradise - Temptation Award winner

Serpents In Paradise
by Kevin Lewis at 15 August 2022, 12:33 PM

SERPENTS IN PARADISE is a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band from Germany that emerged from the pandemic. It seems with all that extra time; songwriters went crazy and there has been an explosion of bands/albums in the past two years. This is one of the catchier of the Hard Rock records to find its’ way to the shelves. Using a series of guest vocalists, they added even more credibility to the release. “Temptation” was released July 8, 2022, via MDD Records.

First off, all the riffs on this record are catchy. This is a solid release with a lot of really good tunes. Take "Love Bites," the opening track, for example. The rhythm has a great pace, not running too fast, but not dragging along making the song take too long. Gianni Pontillo adds his gritty vocals to this track and “Mojo Man,” giving the tracks a bit of the gruffness you just don’t get from some of the other vocalists. The guitar work is full of bits of flair over a really nice hook.

Tomorrow Never Comes” and “Sun May Shine” both use Stu Block for the vocals. Having performed with bands such as ICED EARTH and INTO ETERNITY, he can also throw in some gritty goodness, but also has a killer clean voice. I think the backing vocals in “Tomorrow Never Comes” are also Stu, just layered in, are a lot higher in pitch, but right on as far as harmony. The riffs are heavy, the rhythm chugging, and the songs full of heavier tones. “Sun May Shine” is a power ballad that you need to hear. It is the 80s brought back to life.

For “Where’s the Rock ‘n’ Roll Gone” and “Overrated,” you get the legendary Herbie Langhans of FIREWIND. This is a Power Metal vocalist with one of the stronger voices. “Overrated” has a really catchy blues riff for the intro that gets heavier at the first verse. Again, tons of great hooks from the guitars and really melodic rhythms, giving these songs mass appeal and a more radio friendly sound.

Mark Fox of SHAKRA croons to us on “Moonshine Blues” and “Ghost Lights.” These tracks vary from Blues Rock/Metal to Heavy Metal. “Ghost Lights” is one of the heaviest songs on the record, with Mark Fox sounding a bit like Jeff Keith of TESLA in tone. Both these songs are good, showcasing some of the depth of songwriting skill.

Alex Kühner of HIGH TIDE does three songs, “Black Hole,” “Get Lost Again,” and “Smoke & Mirrors.” “Get Lost Again” is heavy in all the right places and ballad everywhere else. There is just something about that heavy riff in a softer song, combined with the heavy-handed bass lines, that just makes this song appealing. The guitar solo is part shredding, part melodic, all stunning.

There is a lot to like on "Temptation". SERPENTS IN PARADISE have written a pretty diverse record. The fact they used multiple vocalists is a testament to the knowledge of what each song needed. This is part of the best of the pandemic. Singers needed outlets to keep their pipes in working order and bands needed singers to take on all the extra music that was penned while tours could not happen. This is one of the better examples of how that worked really well at times.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

1. Love Bites
2. Tomorrow Never Comes
3. Where's The Rock 'n' Roll Gone?
4. Moonshine Blues
5. Black Hole
6. Sun May Shine
7. Mojo Man
8. Overrated
9. Get Lost Again
10. Ghost Lights
11. Smoke & Mirrors
Matthias Lüönd – Bass
Jason-Steve Mageney – Drums
Tobias Eurich – Guitar
Gianni Pontillo (Track 1 & 7)
Stu Block (Track 2 & 6)
Herbie Langhans (Track 3 & 8)
Mark Fox (Tracks 4 & 10)
Alex Kühner (Track 5 & 9 & 11)
Record Label: MDD Records


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