Serpent Cobra, Beware (Helter Skelter 2022)

Striking out from Argentina, Serpent Cobra issue a new EP, Beware.

Serpent Cobra got going in 2017. Anatomy Of Abuses was their first full-length album, released in 2020. They are back now with a three-song EP, Beware. The band’s music is a NWOBHM homage with tinges of doom and punk flourishes. It is a winning combination. According to The Metal Archives, the band is Carolina Dusau (vocals, guitar), Emanuel Acosta (guitar), Emmanuel Leonhardt (bass), and José Imaz (drums).

The laughing and screaming at the beginning of “Walpurgis Night” strikes the right tone, setting the stage for the solid clomp of mid-tempo heavy music. There is a doom chronicle to it, but the overall impact is straight-ahead metal.

“Beware” begins soft and quiet. Melancholy, even. Forlorn. It is instrumental desert music, filled with mystery and promise. And that title is obviously a warning. What is out there? We don’t know for sure, but it is probably bad for you.

As with the opener, “Bloody Countess” gives us a few sound effects first then presses right into an urgent riff. The vocals are punk-edged and billowing with attitude. Tasty lead guitar licks dress the front side of the track. Toward the middle the tempo slows a notch and dire circumstances become more serious and nefarious.

This music lives in a dark groove. Sometimes muddy, sometimes sharp, you can’t go far wrong with Carolina Dusau’s amazing rock and roll voice. There might only be three songs on this mini-LP but they run an impressive range nevertheless. Recommended.

Beware is out now in digital, cassette from Stoner Witch Records, and vinyl through Helter Skelter Productions and Regain Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://serpentcobradoom.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/serpentcobraheavydoom

Shadow Records Productions, https://www.shadowrecords.se/

Serpent Cobra, Beware (Helter Skelter 2022)

Kabbalah, The Omen (Rebel Waves Records 2021)

Kabbalah are brewing a psychedelic elixir in their cauldron of dreams and it is called The Omen.

The trio from Pamplona, Spain creates music that is a fascinating amalgam of contemporary fuzzy doom matched to a seventies-era rock passed through a grungy sifting machine where unexpected elements latch on, including beautiful melodic vocals and eerie themes and harmonies. The band has released a few EPs, as well as the full-length album Spectral Ascent (2017), leading up to the new one, The Omen.

The album is described in the band’s press release in part as an “occult rock grimoire where sticky melodies, funerary riffs and haunting vocals come together.” All of these things are true. I can think of a couple of bands from the past that appear to be clear influences on Kabbalah, but I have never heard anything quite like the music they make so let’s set those other names aside.

Some of the songs have a sharper edge, like the opener “Stigmatized” with its gravelly guitars, and “The Ritual,” which comes across more directly serious and dramatic. Much of the music is very laid back and hypnotic, with clearer seventies-inspired guitar tones and lovely, lilting vocals, as in “The Night Comes Near.” The echoing whispers and urging rhythms in “Labyrinth” come back to you at night when you are falling asleep, and the closer, “Liturgy,” is convincingly summative. You can feel the living desert infused in the notes of this music, and you when you close your eyes as the album plays you come to know the spirit of the ceremony.

If you rotate this album into your listening queue your life will be better. Recommended.

The digital for The Omen is at Bandcamp, Rebel Waves Records (an imprint of Ripple Music) has the CD and vinyl, and you can get a cassette from Stoner Witch Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://kabbalahrock.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Kabbalahrock

Ripple Store, https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products

Stoner Witch Store, https://stonerwitchrecords.bigcartel.com/products

Kabbalah, The Omen (Rebel Waves Records 2021)