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Serpent Omega: II

Imagining the end of the world is really not all that hard. All you really have to do is go outside (or, even easier, just turn on the news) and then quickly think about all the ways things can get even worse than they are now. If that’s really as easy as it seems, the real problem is picking the right soundtrack for all that imagined destruction. Do you play something ironic and detached or go for something funny? Or do you just go all in with doom?

These are obviously gloomy questions, but lots of bands are suggesting that they have just the perfect blend of the dark and the despairing to match your real or imagined sense of impending doom. There are actually several good choices available, but please don’t overlook Serpent Omega’s latest release. On this album, the band’s second, the band blends doom, sludge, and crust in ways that are appropriately bleak, ugly, and despairing. And yet, just when you think there’s nothing hopeful in this bleak musical landscape, there are some very slight glimmers of hope, little signs that maybe human beings can still pull through it all.

Putting aside all the talk of destruction and despair, let me just say that this is a very strong doom / sludge / crust album. Serpent Omega plays with an urgency that you don’t always hear in this style. Whereas some bands try to find the groove in their riffs and rhythms, this band drives the beat in ways that push listeners out of a doom-laden complacency. You could almost compare some of the music here to punk in the way it simply cannot be contained. I’m thinking specifically of a track like “Through the Gates,” but there are other examples.

Although Serpent Omega is a rock solid band, I have to mention that vocalist Urskogr lends the band a little more power and urgency than you might expect. Vocals in bands like this are often deep and throaty, but Urskogr sings with a rasp that is both despairing and anxiety-producing. I thought it was cool, but I don’t recommend his singing if you want to chill out by the pool. The album is pretty straightforward from start to finish, but there are some guest female vocals that mix things up a bit on “Rivers of Reversed.” I’m not sure who is singing there, but she offered a welcome break from the bleakness of everything else.

Check out “Orog Nuur,” “Rivers of Reversed,” “Through the Gates,” and “Chthonic.” This is a solid new release.

Track Listing:
1. Orog Nuur
2. Land of Darkness
3. Rivers of Reversed
4. Through the Gates
5. Chthonic
6. At the Mountains Edge
7. Av Aska

Added: September 14th 2020
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 165
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Serpent Omega: II
Posted by Steve on 2020-09-20 10:46:12
My Score:

The singer is a woman, just an fyi.




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