Featuring The Konsortium/Mayhem guitarist Teloch and Nuclear Assault/Brutal Truth bassist Dan Lilker alongside two long-time death/black metal aficionados in the shape of The Black/Vinterland's Andreas Jonsson on drums and seasoned vocalist Espen Tørressen Hangård means that whatever it is, it's going to be a better-than-good collection of some seriously dark material. Given the line-up, expectations are high. And with such a moniker, it'd be difficult not to guess what to expect from this album.
In Bondage To The Serpent is weighted in atmosphere, is majestically ethereal, and is darker than a night in a Norwegian black metal-themed hotel. Simultaneously, it's as raw as the most underground kvlt bands ever to have committed toxin to tape. Long, slow, and dragging chords spew forth their funereal wrath to create a densely structured and mountainously layered aesthetic. Disquieting and disturbing, hypnotic and deliberate, the textures are near-tangible and the emotive depth carved into the atmosphere is unnerving. Whether as blackened riffs, protracted arpeggios, suspended doom-laden chords, or sustained feedback, the guitars cut the air. The drums are mesmerizing, rhythmically urging the tracks forward and adding intriguing flourishes to colour the songs ever murkier. And Hangård's tormented vocals are terrifying, just sheer brutal bliss. In Bondage To The Serpent is layer upon layer of haunting, chilling, and phantasmal density. Expectations have been more than met; this is exceptional.
- Komodo Dragon, Mother Queen
- Cursed Virgin, Pregnant Whore
- In Bondage To The Serpent