Serpent Eater

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Monday, March 17, 2014
Review Type: 

Serpent Eater are a band from Cologne, Germany, that return with their second album in nearly two years of existence. Currently consisting of members also active in e.g. Hammerhead, Tumult, Daskrill and English act Throats, Serpent Eater decided to call their sophomore full album Hyena, and in mean time they signed to Dutch Extreme Metal cult-label Hammerheart Records, which is about to release this twenty nine minutes epos on CD. The vinyl version will be done by Alerta Antifacista, by the way.

I want to come back to the other bands the members are or were involved with, because these Hardcore-roots are of huge importance for this material too. But this band goes much further. It is almost impossible to put Serpent Eater in a specific ‘musical’ cage, for this act combines elements from tens of aural things. Besides the evident elements from (Punk and) Hardcore, Serpent Eater mix their compositions with details from Death and Black Metal, Post-Hardcore, Grindcore, Doom, Sludge and Crust. Every composition consists of fast and slow parts, with perfectly performed transitions in between, and another remarkable balance is the one in between a pure Old Style approach and a (post-) modern interpretation of Sonic Extremity. Also the ‘emotional’ side differs a lot: from desperate and sombre over energetic to explosive and aggressive, with both melodious and dissonant melodies, and calm points of rest (with acoustic parts, for example) versus furious outbursts. I know that I do sum up a whole list on contradictions, and in many cases it would lead to an aural definition of incoherence and a lack of vision. In Serpent Eater’s case, however, it tallies. And on top of it, the darkened album comes with a gargantuan, droning, massive, monumental sound, leaving no room for boredom.