Serpent Venom – “Of Things Seen And Unseen” (The Church Within Records)
Serpent Venom play traditional English doom metal and not a million miles from where I live in good ‘ol London town! Conceived in 2008, they have been a name in circulation, but this album is simply awesome, light years from other doom bands around the world in being so authentic, yet so perfect in just about every way. Without a doubt a major factor has to be guitarist Roland Scriver (Sloth, End Of Level Boss), who joined the band in 2011 and is a veritable riff machine, cranking out all the classic doom-meister riffs with his (of course) perfect guitar sound that fuzzes and distorts like an out of way speedway bike only for him to steer it clear of crash just at the last moment – a maestro if I ever heard one! With bassist Nick Davies providing the Rickenbacker rumbles and Paul Sutherland’s mammoth plodding drums adding to the volumen brutale, it’s Garry Ricketts haunting Messiah Marcolin-esque vocals that bring it all home on prehistoric songs like ‘Sorrow’s Bastard’, ‘Let Them Starve’ and ‘Death Throes At Dawn’. Definitely one of the best traditional doom albums I’ve heard this year, and from one of the best English bands around, Serpent Venom’s “Of Things Seen And Unseen” is as foreboding as a historical trip to the bloody Tower Of London itself!