Ascension contains 42 minutes of second wave black metal played in the classic style.
Serpents Oath’s music is dark and aggressive. It combines lethal speed with mystical atmosphere. Blackened leads add melodic darkness to the band’s malefic rituals, building otherworldly auras that surround the music like a cloak of night. The songs are well-written and frequently demonstrate a talent for crafting hooks, be this melodic, vocal, or otherwise.
Blistering speed is mixed with crushing riffs and mid-paced punishment. Some songs use some of these different paces more than others, just as some are more brutal or atmospheric than others. The common denominator throughout is the band’s skill at crafting black metal hymns, which manifests as a formidable songwriting presence.
Raw screams are the main mode of vocal assault, backed up by deeper vocalisations and growls, where needed. The singer’s voice is very capable.
If you’re a fan of the second wave style and are looking for something poisonous and sharp, then Ascension is for you. The songs are strong examples of blackened dark melodic aggression, and I enjoyed this album a great deal.