Wars Waged in My Privates lol gottem
Look man I’m just gonna make this a short one. I’m not reinvigorated by the Covid like most of you are, I’m alternating between pointlessly going to work anyway and spending a week at home being fidgety and annoyed at my housemates for simply existing. I thought I was gonna review during this downtime to help keep myself sane, but it turns out I hate doing that too but dammit I’m gonna try FUCK
Serpent Column has been something of an underground sensation over the past few years, with Ornuthi Thalassa coming out of nowhere in 2017 to destroy listeners with the main dude whose name I can neither spell nor be bothered to look up’s signature brand of spiraling black/death intensity. Since that debut their profile has only grown, with last year’s Mirror in Darkness managing to rank in the Top 30 across all genres on RYM, and the subject of this review, Endless Detainment, currently sitting at the pole position in the EP category for this year.
Each release has gotten more and more chaotic, and the current result of that ever-unfurling sonic degloving is an album so twisted that it eats nails and shits corkscrews. There isn’t even really a thematic thruline I can use within the context of this review to help it make sense, because around every new turn in the music is a new ghoul, a new trap door, a new falling rock. Everything is a trap and it’s a confusing and violent nightmare. Take a look at “Arachnain”, likely the best example of this album’s utter distaste for the safe and familiar. It starts off with the closest thing to a “normal” riff you’re going to find across the entire twentyish minutes of Endless Detainment, with a quick trill and a few chugs, you can’t help but feel like this is an illusion. Nothing up to this point has been so simple and groovy. After the whirlwind of broken glass that was “Violence Aesthete”, there’s no way Mr. Column even has the impulse control necessary to stick to something catchy. And he doesn’t, because before you know it, that simple riff is accompanied by bass and percussion that feel juuuuust a bit wrong, and by the time you can likely comprehend what the interplay between al the instruments is supposed to be well surprise now you’re careening down Willy Wonka’s Boat Ride to Hell.
A lot of people around the ‘net (as the kids say) have been citing a huge uptick in influence from mathcore, particularly Dillinger Escape Plan. I’m unprofessional as fuck and only have a surface level knowledge of what mathcore even is, so I’m just going to parrot that citation and hope it’s correct. I can understand it from what little knowledge I have though, as “Pantheoclasm” sounds dangerously close to what genre purists accused Deathspell Omega of being when Circumspice first dropped. That influence is definitely there, and the first handful of songs in a row all exemplify that sort of dutch-angled firing-squad of riffage, “Manure in Pearls” specifically being the one that crushes my brain the hardest.
I’ve forgotten how to review and I’m going to abuse my reputation to post this rambling bullshit anyway. The point of all this is that Serpent Column is extremely good, and if you look outside of MA you can tell that it’s really catching on elsewhere. Hopefully someday the largest and most historically important website for metal culture catches up, because this fucking rules.