SERPENT SPELLS - Mantras Within Ascending Fire (GODZ OV WAR Productions - CD 2016)
I have to be honest and say that there are only few bands from Asia or Africa that I can enjoy. Most of the time stuff from there is just not worth it. Here’s a band that also comes from very exotic country, which is Bangladesh – they’re probably the first band from there, which I’ve ever heard. And they’re called Serpent Spells, who had their first CD “Mantras Within Ascending Fire” released on Polish label Godz ov War Productions. And well, I have to say that they’re quite good! As much as I was skeptical, I quickly thought of Serpent Spells as a band, which surely can be recommended to those, who enjoy some raw sounding extreme metal from the deepest chasms of hell. Maybe this is nothing truly special, but some solid shit for sure.
I surely like how they put together the harsh and totally obscure sounding black metal with aggression and ferocity of death metal, at the same time making sure that there’s morbid atmosphere in it. Their music is simple, but not primitive, and it brings to memory some ancient metal from 80’s and early 90’s, which can be compared to some South American cults for example, but also some Greek stuff, if it was more aggressive, rather than atmospheric. It’s actually quite fast and intense also, especially in the opening song “Piercing the Cervix of Nehemah”, which surely is the best piece of the entire EP. But it’s never monotonous, so you can expect tempo changes and variety as well. I sincerely have to say though that there are songs, like the one I mentioned above, that I think are good, but also some, where Serpent Spells sounds just dull to me. “Scourge Heretic Consecration” is for example quite weak, it starts with an annoying guitar solo, later it’s just unimpressive black / death metal harshness, which gets better near the end, when Serpent Spells comes with a slow, a bit sorrowful riff. This is why I cannot say then that I am fully impressed with “Mantras Within Ascending Fire”, but I cannot also say that it’s something completely unworthy. It’s rather one of those mediocre releases, which are OK, especially if you like to hear some exotic stuff, but which you don’t have to have in your collection by all means.
Summing it all up then, I like how Serpent Spells sounds, reminding the archaic, ancient extreme metal efforts. I like the vocals a lot and “Piercing the Cervix of Nehemah” or the title track, which is also quite good. But they’re not perfect and need to work more to really impress me, improve their songwriting and come up with some better ideas to have really killer release.
Standout track: “Piercing the Cervix of Nehemah”
Final rate: 65/100