Serpentrance - The Besieged Sanctum album review

Russian black/death crew get too stuck to the script

Cover art for Serpentrance - The Besieged Sanctum album

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Atonal leads, Incantation-esque death-doom, black metal atmospherics and echoing guttural screams all congeal to form Serpentrance’s sound. For anyone familiar with black/ death, this malodorous blend is characteristic. What Impetuous Ritual and Rebirth of Nefast, two acts at the forefront of this style, understand, is that there needs to be more to the music than just playing to genre tropes. Serpentrance may have all the sonic signifiers in place but this Russian act’s mini-LP lacks the requisite dynamic structures and skin-flaying riffs, regardless of tempo, which makes 30 minutes plod along for what seems like Hell’s eternity. Originally released in 2015 on a limited-run cassette, Blood Harvest have dug The Besieged Sanctum from its crypt to garner the band exposure. Right now, Serpentrance seriously need to improve as songwriters, and the new bonus track is a step in the right direction.