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The Father of Serpents - Age of Damniation

The Father of Serpents
Age of Damnation
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 October 2017, 11:21 AM

Serbian Black/Death/Doom Metal sextet THE FATHER OF SERPENTS formed in 2015, influenced by bands like MY DYING BRIDE, SATURNUS, PARADISE LOST, and MOONSPELL. “Age of Damnation” is their debut full-length album, and contains ten tracks. The album is about “ten tales of struggles against the very real monstrosities this world has created, as well as the parts of human beings, that such monstrosities have infected. These are the tales of spiritual survival, battles, wars, kicking, tearing, and biting in order to preserve at least some sanity, in the world, which has doomed us all to slavery, and connected us to a single mind-machine, in order to harvest us for any drop of quality, that we, as individuals, have.”

“The Walls of Salvation” leads off the album. Two lead guitars combine in the opening with a twisted and eerie sound, and the main riff plods slowly underneath. The Death vocals are intense, dark and very low on the spectrum. The sound creates a spooky amalgam of Black/Doom/Death metal overall. Doomy elements mostly come from the lumbering pace, ambient passages and the bass guitar notes along the way. “The Flesh Altar” opens with some legato violin notes and presents another slow moving song with plenty of despondence. The Death vocals are among the nastiest I have heard, and the cleans cut against them to create a moody but clear atmosphere where you can more easily assimilate the melody.

“The Grave for Universe” is thick with Death vocals and some riff changes add some depth along the way. The dual guitar harmonies definitely remind me of PARADISE LOST. Around the half way mark the brutality breaks up and clean vocals linger over a bed of clean guitar notes. I have to say that these ambient passages are really as great at creating a gloomy outlook as the heavier ones. “Tainted Blood” is the first track up to the half way point on the album that moves with a little more haste. The guttural utterances are enough to make you look over your shoulder at the shadow that is growing in size behind you, as the stench of a foul beast permeates your nostrils. “The Afterlife Symphony” is a real heart-tugger. The sense of forlorn is very strong here, like watching the world crumble around you until there is nothing left. Some of the chord patters remind me of INSOMNIUM at times, and the violin accentuates the agony presented. If you don’t feel totally dejected after listening to this you might want to make sure you are still breathing.

“The God Will Weep for You” is agonizing in the sluggish opening sequence but picks up speed with tortured vocal wails, and a brilliant bass guitar lead that dances with the violin in a funky and animated way that is really the first passage that lifts outside the black haze of Doom. “The Last Encore” feature again some really solid bass playing by Milan Suput. A lot of really good bands still struggle at how to incorporate this instrument into their music. It really has a lot to offer if you think outside of the box and let the bassist decide on his/her notes. That is definitely the case here and it is very refreshing. “Viral” closes the album and is the shortest track at under four minutes. It has a more straightforward sound but again with a clear sense of melody when needed and it really makes an impression.

Overall, I definitely think fans of the aforementioned bands will enjoy this album, but I found that it was more than just the influence of previous works from some of these giants, and really has a lot of the band’s own personality present here. The ambient passages are very good at pushing the sound and the Death vocals are absolutely frightening. The combination is a plate of food that will both excite your taste buds with an exotic flavor, and awaken your senses, along with morsels of vile disgust that you can’t get past your nose.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Walls of No Salvation
2. The Flesh Altar
3. Tale of Prophet
4. The Grave for Universe
5. Tainted Blood
6. The Afterlife Symphony
7. The Quiet Ones
8. The God Will Weep for You
9. The Last Encore
10. Viral
Lineup:
Tamerlan – Vocals (growls/screams/narrations)
Pavle Sovilf – Vocals (clean), Violin
Igor Loncar – Guitars
Zeljko Zec – Guitars
Milan Suput – Bass
Aleksandar Maksimovic – Drums 
Record Label: Satanath Records
     


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