The drought is over – Serpent Omega returns after seven years with the sequel to their praised debut.
Centered in Stockholm, Serpent Omega describe themselves as a “sludge/doom/black/death/war metal” band. That covers a lot of ground, but then so do their compositions. Doom, certainly, and between Death and Black, I would say they lean toward Black Metal. There is enough crossover here to catch fans lingering along many edges. The guitars land heavy riffs, the bass is on overdrive, and the vocals are earnest and aggressive. Thematically, the message is despair and darkening, hopelessness even. There are moments of more active assessment and description sprinkled among the scenes of ruin and in general there is always an air of menace, sometimes understated and sometimes not. The darkness is always – it hangs in every corner of this album.
There are a couple of pieces that stood out on my first listen among the seven included in II. In “Rivers of Reversed” a warbling, distorted bass line takes over in the middle and is joined by melodic vocals. As the song progresses toward the end, the vocals become strained, increasingly agitated like a deteriorating mental state. “Through The Gates” is a radio-length up tempo howler about moving past a landmark with focused intentions. The last track is “Av Aska,” which means “of ashes” in English if Google is correct. It is a solemn whispering song, a kind of funereal meditation in a way, and an excellent choice to wrap up the many threads of this eclectic album.
Available Friday, September 4, Bandcamp is perhaps the best bet now. There are rumors that physical versions will be available soon. “Land of Darkness” and “Orog Nuur” are available as singles on Spotify right now if you want to get a listen in before the full set drops.
Band photo by Jonas Husbom.