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Vessel of Light - Thy Serpent Rise Award winner

Vessel of Light
Thy Serpent Rise
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 27 October 2019, 12:25 AM

 “Thy Serpent Rise,” is the third album from New Jersey based Metal outfit VESSEL OF LIGHT.  The first two albums fit firmly into riff based Heavy Metal/Doom, with Dan Lorenzo on guitars and bass while Nathan Opposition handled both drums and vocals.  The duo tackled the first two albums but “They Serpent Rise,” is where it all changes.

It is an important album for VESSEL OF LIGHT. Now the duo have expanded into a full-fledged band, adding Ron Lipnicki and Jimmy Sculman on drums and bass, respectively.  Dan and Nathan did a great job taking on all the duties but having a full set up of members definitely gets the album a richer, more full sound as we are getting playing styles from four different people.  Of course, the albums production also helps on this front: it is loud and clear but not overly so and every instrument shines through equally. Nathan’s vocals are explosive and exiting but the mix doesn’t push them too far in front—without a doubt, this album features a band that is very cohesive in the studio.

The flow of the album is exceptional, proving the simple fact that “Thy Serpent Rise,” sounds like the most complete VESSEL OF LIGHT album to date.  The album features twelve tracks with a run time of thirty-four minutes—it doesn’t overstay its welcome, but it contains enough depth to keep the listener interested.  I found this album is definitely one that sounds equally as great playing from beginning to end as it does just listening to tracks on a piecemeal basis.

On this third venture, the guys change up the formula.  Sure, the band keeps their core sound intact, but there is greater variety on display here across the tracks.  Groove, Sludge, Grunge, and good ol Rock and Roll sensibilities join the Doom-laden riffs.  Speaking of riffs, did I mention how many badass ones are to be found within?  Riffs, riffs, and more riffs—this album should come with a “whiplash” warning label.

The title track serves as an intro but there isn’t any fancy build up or spoken word passages—just huge guitars, hammering drums, pounding bass, and some disturbingly dark vocals.  The overall tone of the album is established early and without pretense.  Indeed, “Thy Serpent Rise,” is a throw back to the days when people didn’t argue over the sub genres of sub genres.  No, VESSEL OF LIGHT have offered us a big ol slab of Metal, to be enjoyed by fans for its sheer ability to rock your face off.  It’s dark, violent, twisted but also smart, catchy, and wholly engrossing.

The intro ends and “Abandon Life,” throws out groove and earthquake inducing drums.  The bass holds it all together while Nathan’s expressive vocals belt out of the cryptic lyrics. “Meet and Bone,” is about as heavy and subtle as a sledgehammer to the face; you’ll come for the weirdly anthem like chorus that I bet gets the crowd singing along in a live setting but stay for the smartly slick guitar and bass riffs that are constantly complimented by the thoughtful drums.

Save My Soul,” sounds like the bastard child of CROWBAR and PANTERA—just non stop sludgy groove accented riffs that just rolling over you.  DAN really outdid himself on this album, this song is just one of many examples of how effective riffs and a more straightforward concept of this style can drastically improve a band’s sound.

Darkness incarnate is the form that “Eternal Sleep” takes, and the song is a musical struggle between NATHAN’s vocals and the band trying to see who can get heavier, meaner, and darker.  The following track “Decomposing Mental Health,” is another near impossibly heavy song but this time the bass and drums bring the thunder especially towards the end with that sudden tempo change that just shakes you to the core.

I have watched VESSEL OF LIGHT since I reviewed their debut EP years ago and I’m continuously impressed how Dan and Nathan continue to bring the band to new heights.

Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Thy Serpent Rise
2. Abandon Life
3. Meet and Bone
4. Urge to Kill
5. Rush of Blood
6. Skin in the Game
7. Save My Soul
8. Bleed Into The Night
9. Eternal Sleep
10. Hello Darkness
11. Decomposing Mental Health
12. After Death
Nathan Opposition – Vocals
Dan Lorenzo – Guitars
Ron Lipnicki – Drums
Jimmy Schulman – Bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 26 November 2022

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