Serpentcult - Raised By Wolves
Listenable Records
Doom, Sludge
4 songs (38:24)
Release year: 2011
Listenable Records
Reviewed by Goat

Now on their second album after refashioning themselves as Serpentcult, the band formerly known as Thee Plague Of Gentlemen seems to be struggling to make their voice heard. Ditching female frontperson Michelle Nocon, the Belgian three-piece have lost some of the vital spark that was audible on debut Weight Of Light. Instead of the song-based focus shown there, instead we have four lengthy, atmospheric pieces that skip catchiness in favour of weight of ambition, the raven caws and rain of the opening title track leading to ominous bass/drum noodling that never quite manages to build into anything, even when the echoing vocals and almost Burzumic guitar come into play. The bleak miasma that the band are attempting to invoke half-raises, sniffs the air, and decides to leave again, enticed by the general Electric Wizard-y style but repulsed by the lack of direction or songcraft.

Shame. It’s hard to make bad doom, but as Serpentcult prove here, it’s very easy to make average doom, doom that ticks the boxes but has absolutely no effect on the listener. Take the just-under-ten-minute instrumental Crippled And Frozen for example, jamming away miserably to itself with some almost interesting electronic effects towards the end, but not making an impact on the whole. Longing For Hyperborea chunders along nicely before collapsing into dull ambience, and finale Growth Of The Soil only becomes notable when the shrieking vocalist throwing his full effort into upping the drama at around the halfway point. Those in search of their sludgy doom fix should look elsewhere.

Killing Songs :
Goat quoted 60 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:53 am
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