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Galvano: Trail Of The Serpent

Heavy-hitting two-piece stick to the guidebook

Power. Duo. Are there any two words more satisfying to the human soul?

Obviously there aren’t – and there are few more satisfying sounds than the rampaging rhythms and percussive landslides harnessed by Gothenburg-based guitar-and-drum duo Galvano.

They’ve clearly got a few Black Cobra and Big Business albums on their shelves between them, but opener The Gathering features enough shifting dynamics, changing tempos and frequent but uncontrived lurches into what could almost be described as post-metal territory to make you question for most of its 10-minute duration whether there really are only two instruments involved. It’s a device guitarist/vocalist Mattias Noojd and drummer Fredrik Käll employ throughout the album’s four extended excursions, although unfortunately with somewhat diminishing returns. Stench Of Prey largely picks up where its two predecessors leave off, while frequently calling to mind the most thunderous moments of High On Fire, as does closer Driven Snow… before it all goes a bit Isis-y.