Serpentine: Living And Dying In High Definition

Close to being melodic rock paradise.

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Living And Dying... is the second album from this UK band, and they appear to have perfected the knack of mixing sumptuous arrangements with enough grit to prevent them from becoming just a rehash of American ideals.

Led by Tony Mills, who has rarely sung with such craft and control as he does here, Serpentine are very adept at writing songs with patient choruses and then giving these enough kick to deliver maximum impact. Best on this record are the anthemic Deep Down (There’s A Price For Love), the soaring Where Do We Go From Here? and the power balladry of Cry; only on a couple of tracks do things drag a little.

The shame is that Mills will now restrict his input to the writing side, with Matt Black fronting the band. But if they can retain this sort of standard, then Serpentine could be sailing very calm waters to success. At times they’re almost Journey-esque.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021