Thursday, September 8, 2016

Serpent Ascending - Ananku (2016)

Finland's Serpent Ascending are about to release their first (or I should say, his first) album on I, Voidhanger. There was a little compilation record as well as a demo released earlier, but this is the first offering of completely new material from the one man act, helmed entirely by Jarno Nurmi. I can't really tell if the drumming is programmed or being performed by a real kit, chalking that section of the performance up to technology. This is definitely a death metal performance, but it is not the kind of death metal performance that is afraid to shun texture or melody. The bare-bones of the record clearly sound like any classic death metal act, but there's a sense of progression as well as some occult black metal influence (say Deathspell Omega) that sort of turns the nature of the recording on it's head. Nurmi controls a powerful bark on the record, but he doesn't relegate himself to that approach, sometimes going into a sort of cleaner, yet more hypnotic approach. The record doesn't have a lot of bite, but it doesn't seem to be going in that sort of direction. What I'm hearing here is a little more intelligent than just sheer brutality, and as the record goes on, it just becomes a bit more varied in terms of tone and structure. There are sections where the drums blast a little and allow Ananku to bare it's teeth, but nothing on here came out completely fearsome to me. Serpent Ascending has the right idea I think, but this sounds like a project that I hope will see more evolutions in the future. It is worth a listen if you're looking for something a bit more than unhinged brutality.

(8 Tracks, 30:00)


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