In the Company of Serpents – Ain-Soph Aur (Review)

In the Company of SerpentsIn the Company of Serpents are a doom/sludge band from the US and this is their third album.

We’re familiar with the work of In the Company of Serpents from their 2014 EP Merging in Light. This  was a delightfully heavy and fuzzed-up example of pitch-black doom, and now the band have returned to once more pulverise everything before them, but this time in a slightly different way.

Whereas In the Company of Serpents have been unrelentingly heavy in the past, Ain-Soph Aur shows the band developing their sonic arsenal to include softer, more reflective moments amid the general heaviosity of their base sound. This means that the 2017 incarnation of this band is a more textured, nuanced version of itself.

At which point it would be prudent to remind the reader that this is still monolithically heavy doom for the most part, with thick distortion weighty enough to cause buckling in anything subjected to it. One could argue that the increased amount of lighter parts in their sound are only there to make the heavier parts sound even heavier than before. If this is the case, it certainly works.

The band’s wider sonic palette means that they have more of a Neurosis vibe than previously, but this is no bad thing and only enriches the sludgy filth that In the Company of Serpents unleash on the world.

The songs sail the seas of doom on colossal crushing riffs that are navigated by roaring vocals. The songs spread out to encompass all that the band survey, with the lighter moments providing breathing space among the waters that the band’s weighty material otherwise subdues with airless distortion.

I’ve enjoyed In the Company of Serpents prior to this release, and I enjoy them even more on this one. The added dimension that they bring to their sound on Ain-Soph Aur is most welcome, and the album is probably their most well-rounded release to date.

Highly recommended.

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