Third release from fiery swaggering visceral instro metal rockers
Limited pressing of 500 in deluxe case wrap gatefold on black and blue vinyl.
Vinyl|LP|PRHS| Prophase Music | 4/26/2011 | 881182110318 | PMLP1103
Hailing from Philadelphia, Serpent Throne is a band that clearly kneels at the altar of Black Sabbath. Fuzzed out riffs, doom laden passages, and flavorful leads are par for the course on their third album, White Summer•Black Winter. And while many of the riffs uncomfortably straddle the line between homage and the outright aping of Black Sabbath, Serpent Throne does bring countless modern stoner metal twists into their instrumental attack.
White Summer•Black Winter is an album that was obviously helped along by the use of certain illicit substances, as an overwhelming sensation of dankness immediately graces one’s nostrils via the ears. And while the band clearly worships its surely vintage amps, there is a considerable knack for song writing that sometimes gets lost in the stoner metal genre. Comparisons can be made to stoner stalwarts Earthless as far as the overall vibe of the music, but where Earthless solos uncontrollably for twenty minute songs, Serpent Throne is much more content (and better equipped) to craft actual songs.
While every song does vary, White Summer•Black Winter hits its mark the hardest at its most off-the-wall, riskiest moments. Parts when the riffs stop and only the bass continues to drone away, until the reigniting of the song in the form of a dual solo are where Serpent Throne really take the music to another level.
Some of the solos are somewhat reminiscent of the work of Baroness, with a similar guitar tone and riff/solo style thriving on dynamics. However, despite having similar tuning, Baroness rarely ventures into the experimental, riskier territory that Serpent Throne absolutely thrives in on White Summer•Black Winter. In any case, the combination of Black Sabbath riffs with Baroness soloing by way of Earthless is incredibly satisfying; both in the straight forwardness that not having a vocalist provides as well as the unleashing of the musicians to truly make the most out of their respective instruments. The bass is constantly keeping the song anchored as the drums push it forward, and at times do even more. The seventh track, “Four Winds,” launches into a drum solo out of nowhere before slowing down and running out of steam, at which point the guitars and bass come back in to finish out the final minute of the song.
Serpent Throne’s White Summer•Black Winter is a nine track glance through the looking glass to a bygone era of metal, while at the same time rotating through lenses to achieve a truly modern take. The result is divine.
Similar bands: Black Sabbath, Baroness, Earthless, Kyuss”