Review: Shrine Of The Serpent/Black Urn Split

Review: Shrine Of The Serpent/Black Urn Split

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Doom/Death Metal. There is a lot in these words’ combinations. The bands, inspired by Candlemass, Black Sabbath and Thergothrone suddenly decide that viscous, depressing music needs some extreme and they add a Death Metal element. To say that it was a breakthrough is to say nothing. Innovative approach by fathers Anathema, Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride catapulted this self destroy music beyond the conventional perception of heavy music: it got the intelligence and subtlety. Then Theater of Tragedy, Tristania, The Sins of Thy Beloved and early The Gathering added to a formed Doom/Death Metal some “beauty and the beast plus symphony” elements, united with gothic. But the Doom Death, or rather Death Doom in that very archaic form is still played. The best examples for it are Irelands Mourning Beloveth, americans Novembers Doom and britains De Profundis.

The same retrogrades are two young American Death/Doom bands Shrine of The Serpent (Oregon) and Black Urn (Philadelphia). Their debut work was released in December 2017 as a split via Godz Ov War.

In general terms, the bands are stylistically similar, but in Shrine of The Serpent‘s music there prevails Sludge, like the latest Paradise Lost and earlier Mourning Beloveth. Black Urn has some Black Metal elements, like screaming and some speed playing periodically. Also, one of their song is a cover for “Junkhead” from legendary Alice In Chains, that sounds evil and groovy.

With this, the split remains some feeling of understatement. But the both bands sounds interesting and confidently. Maybe in future we can expect more volumetric albums from the both bands, but right now we got four tracks, two from each band. The atmosphere is viscous, the sound is raw, the attitude is funeral. Death/Doom as is. Valuable for the genre fans and also recommended for all who interested with the history of metal.

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