This is heavy. This is very heavy indeed. End of review.
Just kidding. But seriously…this is one heavy album.
This is Doom-laden Sludge Metal with a healthy Old-School Death Metal influence that recalls the slowest of the Old-School masters at their dirgy best.
The band themselves have been kidnapped from all manner of high profile bands and know their stuff. In this context it’s no surprise that Emanations is such a winner. Considering their pedigree it would be a bigger surprise if this album had fallen flat on its face. As if.
The dark atmosphere and colossal riffs seem to fall from a great height to blanket the landscape and crush everything in sight. The leads and musical refrains are splashes of melodic colour in an otherwise pitch black landscape designed to emphasise the fact that all hope is in fact lost and these glimpses of better times are things that you’ll never have again.
Although these nuances of colour are peripheral concerns in the context of the larger song structure as Serpentine Path specialise in a brutal brand of Sludge/Doom that pummels the listener into submission more than lulling them into despair. The fact that these nuances exist however just gives the band more depth than they might otherwise have without them.
The vocals are pretty deep; they don’t reach the guttural lows of pure Death Metal although they do come close. They fit the music better than cookie-monster vocals would though and have an appropriately atavistic quality to them that goes perfectly with the mood the band create.
The album has a strong sound that isn’t overproduced and brings out the best of the gargantuan riffs. I could listen to this over and over again. And I will. For some time. Surely that’s the very definition of a successful album?
Walk down the Serpentine Path. You might not know where it leads but you’re damn sure in for a good journey.