There is little we can tell you about Polish metallers Serpent Seed, their background information as sparse as their sound is imposingly flavoursome, but one thing about the band easy to reveal is that their debut album is one potent and potential fuelled proposal. Consisting of seven attention feeding and appetite raising tracks, Debris of Faith provides instant evidence that Serpent Seed, though not yet a startling proposition, is certainly a fresh and fiercely enjoyable new protagonist in the extreme metal landscape.
Serpent Seed hails from Łask, forming in 2012 with the current quartet of guitarist/vocalist Aryman, guitarist Jatssa, bassist Jakub, and drummer Wojtass bringing experiences from playing in bands such as War, Lugburz, Iugulatus, and Slain to the project. Honing a sound merging death and black metal at its core, the band recorded their debut release last year, Debris Of Faith emerging via The End of Time Records. It is a challenging and compelling incitement on ears and imagination, an intriguing encounter which without tearing up the creative neighbourhood provides new and accomplished scenery.
The album opens with Demon’s Blade, guitars instantly casting a web of predatory riffs and enticing melodic intrigue as rhythms hungrily descend with their own infectious potency upon the senses. Its climate is dark and ravenous, nature inhospitable, but even with the menacing blackened tones of the vocals, there is a gripping and catchy lure fuelling the tempest. Just as swiftly evident as the consuming heart of the song, is the individual skills of its members and songwriting which takes every opportunity to twist expectations and keenly venture into new corners and depths within the band’s sound.
The strong start is eclipsed by the following stalking of ears and emotions by I Spit on Your Cross. The heavy oppressive maelstrom opening the song soon expels an irresistible groove which, as the song itself, continues to evolve and take on new guises without losing its potent temptation. It is also the spark to a matching invention from guitars and rhythms around it, a sonic tapestry seducing the barbarous and addictive landscape shaped by the grouchy bass and the rapier like barracking of the drums. Quick slavery of attention and appetite, the outstanding song makes way for the even more hellacious and uncompromising Mother Night. The song stalks the listener with its first and every subsequent breath, holding that intimidating restraint even through its intensive expulsions of sound and ire. As fascinating as it is invasive, the track is an apocalyptic suggestiveness for thoughts and a battlefield for the senses.
Both Płonie Stos and Unholy Trinity continue the tight hold of ears and satisfaction, the first the most dangerous predator on the album with its demonic sonic tones insidious and cavernous ambience debilitating. Despite that as further melodic craft and enterprise fiercely flames upon the rabid canvas of the encounter, there is a virulent persuasion and inviting air to the song leading, or misleading, emotions into feasting on the rancorous heart of the incitement. Its successor is similarly sculpted but soon uncaging its own distinct animus of sound and emotion, if without quite having the same extensive temptation as its predecessors. Nevertheless the song grows and blossoms as it persists with its creative ravaging, leaving only thick enjoyment in its wake before the thrilling song Serpent Seed, spreads its sonic and inventive malignancy through ears to devour the senses. There is at times a similarity in certain aspects and tones to songs within the album, noticeable again here, but everything is soon woven into new tapestries and violations which ensure diversity and the imaginative playing of the band are the lingering enticement.
One major moment makes way for another with closing track Bloody Vengeance, a song which prowls and erodes emotions with every one of its malevolent creative seconds. Though not as easily accessible as other songs, it is an engrossing provocation forging the sonic endeavour of the guitars to the unpredictable and gripping bait of the rhythms. With raw and caustic vocals driving the narrative deep into thoughts, the song is a powerful end to a thoroughly pleasing encounter.
For an introduction Debris of Faith is a concrete and promise soaked base for Serpent Seed to move on from, so expect to hear their name on a more regular and acclaimed footing over coming years.
Debris of Faith is out now via The End Of Time Records