|4.8 (3 votes):
Their first full-length since their first demo release in 2012, Serpent Throne deliver 47 minutes of crossover metal straight from Chile’s underground scene.
An intro of clashing swords over operatic vocals puts us immediately in a Lord of the Rings mindset, which segues into track 2, Beyond the Chains of Decadence; tinny riffs, bland drumming, and vocals drenched in reverb – we are definitely in black metal territory – and even though the track is 4 minutes long, the last minute is just a garbled mess of rudderless noise. Blessed by the Fire starts trve metal enough before a prematurely placed breakdown occurs on the minute mark and we are treated to the usual black metal treatment of barks and crowded high frequencies, though some imaginative riffs make up for the lack of originality.
Anointed in Evil gives us a slow 1-minute intro before more copy-paste riffs and drumming that we could have just remembered from the first track without hearing them a second time. Fifth track Where Evil Prevails offers a little more with melancholic chord progressions and arpeggios leading us to a pensive guitar solo caressed over still bland yet welcomingly subdued drumming. The sixth track, a mid-album instrumental, offers little new to the experience and sounds like someone just forgot to add lyrics and it’s not treated as an opportunity to explore anything noteworthy. Ancient Sorcery offers a solid breakdown with some meaty riffs, but it’s short-lived before we’re headed straight back to the cluttered 8k-16k territory. The hollow production really sticks at points like this where the songs should excel, and can often make listening a dreary experience.
Release date: December 15, 2020
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