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Serpentent: Ancient Tomes, Volume 1: Mother Of Light

This is the debut album from Serpentent, or rather Anne K. O'Neill, who’s project this is, and is an artiste that is described by her record company as a `dark folk songstress’...hmm, intriguing. With this album having a subtitle of `Volume 1` so it’s safe to say that there will be more forthcoming from O`Neill.

Nine tracks spread out over an hour start off with the rather delicate instrumental `The Descent` with hints at Steve Howe when he would pick up the Acoustic guitar with Yes. `Ancient Tomes, is a again an Acoustic led number with the first appearance of the vocals which are very pleasant indeed, reminding me at times of Annie Haslam from Renaissance with a deep richness to them. `Winding` is dominated by a plaintive vocal that lends the track a sense of gravitas then there are the three tracks that dominate the album, `Sonette An Orpheus:IV` ,Mother Of Light` and `The Fountainhead of Fire` which all are ten minute plus songs which enable O`Neill to really expand her ideas, and all reveal very different facets to O`Neill`s music, be it the majestic ambience of `Sonette...`, the Enya like vibes of `Mother of Light` or the Prog/Folk hybrid of `Fountainhead...`. All three carry that calm sense of drama which is quite some feat, as it’s all too easy to let tracks drift on without purpose, but that’s not the case here at all. Even the rather eerily titled `Death` has a sense of grace to it, and the final track `Rise and Fall` has a beautiful uplifting, understated grandeur.

This is an album that is on the whole a quiet, reflective piece and one that I enjoyed immensely as it displays a quite alluring haunting atmosphere, and one that takes hold of the listener and engages throughout. On the evidence of this Volume 2 is definitely going to an album that I will most definitely be searching out when the time comes.

Track Listing
  1. The Descent
  2. Ancient Tomes
  3. Winding
  4. Sonette An Orpheus:IV
  5. Ой, �'и місяцю
  6. Death
  7. Mother Of Light
  8. The Fountainhead Of Fire
  9. Rise And Fall

Added: June 20th 2022
Reviewer: Malcolm Smith
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 452
Language: english

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