Heads For The Dead - Serpent's Curse review




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Band: Heads For The Dead
Album: Serpent's Curse
Release date: September 2018


01. Serpent's Curse
02. Heads For The Dead
03. Deep Below
04. Post Mortem Suffering
05. The Awakening
06. Death Calls
07. Of Wrath And Vengeance
08. Gate Creeper
09. Return To Fathomless Darkness
10. In Darkness You Feel No Regrets [Wolfbrigade cover]


Serpent's Curse is the effort of multi-instrumentalist Jonny Pettersson of Wombbath fame and Revel In Flesh's vocalist, Ralf Hauber, to produce music that could be the score of an old-school horror film. You know, those films that feature witches burned at the stake, virgins sacrificed and devilish priests performing unholy ceremonies that result in a mess of corn syrup mixed with red food colouring.

In the beginning of Serpent's Curse, the title track introduces a paranormal melody of impending doom combined with military drumming that quickly pulls you into a room full of dread and horrors. "Heads For The Dead", which follows, is a faster but equally ferocious and haunting piece of death metal and with these two opening tracks the band immediately justifies the hype surrounding this debut.

Heads For The Dead draw influences from typical Swedish death metal but also incorporate elements of black and doom metal to keep things interesting. Each song has its own identity and there are enough different ideas as well as a fair amount of diversity. Speeds vary from slow and lumbering, as is the case with "Deep Below" and "The Awakening", to speedy and frantic in shorter tracks, such as "Post Mortem Suffering" and "Speed Calls". The production of the album makes it not only brutal but also highly atmospheric; there is something really terrifying and creepy especially in the way the leads and the solos sound. Besides all that Heads For The Dead have thrown in everything they could to make the deal even more frightening and occult; just listen to the female vocals in "The Awakening" or the keyboards in the shape-shifter that is "Return To Fathomless Darkness".

Despite Pettersson's impressive songwriting ability and musicianship, the end result wouldn't be as convincing without Ralf Hauber's vocals. These range from deep gutturals to menacing shrieks and it feels like he is sadistically torturing his vocal cords with the sole purpose of scaring the shit out of you. If you don't believe me, turn off the lights, put on your headphones and listen to "Gate Creeper". Hauber is also responsible for the grotesque lyrics.

Heads For The Dead finish the nightmare off with session drummer Erik Bevenrud (Down Among The Dead Men) pounding away dominantly in an exceptional cover of Wolfbrigade's "In Darkness You Feel No Regrets" and you can be sure that you will feel absolutely no regrets for coming face to face with this polycephalic serpent.

You might want to start sleeping with the light on though.

"Your head will roll
Your blood will flow
The axe is dripping red
Heads for the dead"


 



Written on 30.12.2018 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 3   Visited by: 88 users
30.12.2018 - 22:50
nikarg
Old Nick
2018 has given us some outstanding death metal so it's only fitting that I chose one of the style's best releases to be my last review (for this year that is, you're not getting rid of me so easily).

I wish you all Metal Storrmers an awesome and metal as fuck 2019!
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31.12.2018 - 17:24
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 30.12.2018 at 22:50

2018 has given us some outstanding death metal so it's only fitting that I chose one of the style's best releases to be my last review (for this year that is, you're not getting rid of me so easily).

I wish you all Metal Storrmers an awesome and metal as fuck 2019!

Just what we needed, more death metal. It's basically overkill at this point.
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31.12.2018 - 18:38
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by RaduP on 31.12.2018 at 17:24

Just what we needed, more death metal. It's basically overkill at this point.

Haha I know, I could make my top-20 of the year just with death metal and ignoring every other genre and it'd still be an awesome list.
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