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Serpents of Secrecy – Ave Vindicta

Serpents of Secrecy
Ave Vindicta
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 November 2020, 2:35 AM

Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, USA, SERPENTS OF SECRECY is a Doom/Stoner/Southern Rock band, who present their long awaited debut album, titled “Ave Vindicta.” The album contains eleven tracks. The title track leads off the album. Fuzzy guitars open the song, thick with reverb. The main sound drops, and it is very heavy, smashing skulls as it moves along. The vocals are easy on the ears at first, then turn raspy and harsh. It picks up in pace around the half-way mark, followed by a guitar solo thick with wah-wah.

“Heel Turn” opens with some bass guitar notes that move in unison with the main guitar riff. I definitely pick up on some BLACK SABBATH vibes here, vocals notwithstanding. A soulful guitar solo rounds out the song. “The Cheat” opens with a slower groove, and more of those thick bass guitar parts. I would go so far as to say that the bass guitar is the most prominent feature on the album. Vocals are clean and despondent at first. The guitars are also light at first, but then both increase in intensity. “Time Crushes All” opens with a powerful riff and a slower, lumbering pace. It changes to a more pensive sound, and Mark emits some pensive vocals here. Just before the half-way mark, it springs to life with an increased pace, then slows again, with lamenting vocals.

“Lament” is a three-and-a-half-minute fast track, opening with bass guitar notes and some light percussion and guitar. It fades away pretty quickly thereafter. “Warbird’s Song” opens with a tough and heavy riff, and snarly vocals. It’s a shorter song that remains pretty powerful throughout. “Orphan’s Dream” opens with light guitar and vocals. It turns more deadly when the main guitar riff hits, and then it’s back to the lighter, more ethereal sound. A double bluesy guitar solo rounds out the dreamy sound.

“Dealer’s Choice” is another short track, opening with wooden block strikes and a riff that has energy and moves. Though they are old school in their approach, they present some diversity here on the album. “Bleeding Still” is a longer track, and begins with clean guitars and bass notes. When the main riff drops, there are also some backing guitar parts that come into play. It of course takes a turn for a heavier sound with harsh vocals. “Broke the Key” is another shorter song, clocking in at just over three-minutes in length. It moves forward slowly, with much of the energy coming from Mark’s vocal performance. He really puts his all into his craft.

“In the Lock” closes the album. It begins with some light guitar work and drums and then roars in with lead guitar, heavy on the wah-wah fuzz. Mark speaks a sermon here and the crowd is raucous. It ends with an emphatic Amen! Overall, though this type of Doom/Stoner/Southern Rock/Metal isn’t something that you haven’t heard before, it is done with genuine passion from the quintet. As in BLACK SABBATH, it’s often the bass guitar that keeps things moving along, but there are plenty of balls in the guitar and the vocals, and a smoking set of lead guitar parts. When those heavy riffs drop, you will turn your head for sure. Well done, gents!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Ave Vindicta
2. Heel Turn
3. The Cheat
4. Time Crushes All
5. Lament
6. Warbird’s Song
7. Orphan’s Dream
8. Dealer’s Choice
9. Bleeding Still
10. Broke the Key
11. In the Lock
Rev. Jim Forrester – Bass
Todd Ingram – Guitar
Chuck Dukehart III – Drums
Mark Lorenzo – Vocals
Steve Fisher – Guitar
Record Label: Moving the Earth Records


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Edited 26 July 2021

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