Verminous Serpent are a black metal band from Ireland and this is their debut album.
Featuring members of Primordial, Dread Sovereign, Slidhr, and Malthusian, Verminous Serpent supply us with 40 minutes of malevolent black metal on The Malign Covenant.
This is black metal that’s raw and horrifying. It’s atavistic in its ancient blackened tendencies, yet lethal with contemporary vibrancy and potency. Speed is used, but only as a secondary weapon. The main focus is on weaving moods rich in vicious corruption. Verminous Serpent weaponise atmosphere and use it to fuel an insidiously venomous bite.
The Malign Covenant is dark and menacing. Focusing on nightmarish atmosphere and dread-infused soundscapes, the music is grim and horrifying. A malignant doom influence can be heard at times, further adding to the stench of despair and terror that permeates the songs like a foul miasma. First and second wave elements are both deployed, along with the sort of timeless blackened atmosphere that just drips with scorn and contempt.
The music is harsh and unforgiving, yet surprisingly memorable. It benefits from some unexpectedly good riffs for such a mood-based release, as well as malefic groove, eerie leads, strong use of bass, and feral demonic vocals. Each track moves and writhes under its own infernal power, moving the listener ever closer to the end, where they will surely be consumed by the album’s closing monstrosity Deaths Head Mantra. This is a record that flows inexorably towards its Hellish apogee, where the music reaches the apex of its pitch black powers.
The Malign Covenant is a very enjoyable album built for hardened explorers of the black metal underworld. Ancient and vast, yet suffocatingly personal, this is a good record and an easy recommendation for connoisseurs of the blackened arts.