After long last, we slumbering peasantry arise from Rip Van Winkle-hood, back with another edition of our neglected Sleeping Village Sampler.
For those of you not in the know, this is our (regrettably infrequent) column wherein we review, in brief, two of the bands that have escaped the clutches of a full length writeup. Usually there is an underlying current, a theme connecting the two. In other words, a method behind the madness. This time, however, all I’ve got is this: both bands featured here today have the word “Serpent” in their name, and they both requested a review on the same damn day. That’s simply too coincidental to neglect, and so here we are. Pull off your boots, pull up a chair, and stay awhile. You may want to check your boots for snakes later on, but that's life.
SEVEN SERPENTS - Cursed to Be (Single)
Let’s get down to brass tacks: this self-described “stoner/doom/sludge” outfit, residing in the presumably muggy confines of West Palm Beach, FL, knows how to write a damn single. Constructed around a massive plodding riff, “Cursed to Be” leans into thunderous sludge to great effect, aided by the application of an egregiously thicc tone and an equally massive chorus. The roaring vocals are a particular strong point, and the instrumentation is proficient to an unprecedented degree--given listen-throughs of their prior work, it’s clear these boys have grown immensely in their craft. And we haven’t even touched on the production, which is hefty as one can get without introducing a divisive element of claustrophobia. All told: “Cursed to Be” is simple in terms of formula, but remains, on repeat listens, as relentlessly catchy as it is seismically heavy. I eagerly await their forthcoming LP!
SERPENT WORSHIP - Serpent Worship (EP)
This one-man doomster deals in the realm of--wait for it--”doom/sludge/stoner.” Same genre umbrella as the last, albeit a different order and a significantly different sound. Serpent Worship hawks a brand of overtly fuzzy riffage and undulating psychedelic passages, all played as a backdrop to some apropos samples of occultian matters. This is the kind of EP one can willingly sink into--particularly highlight track “Vile Vermin,” which builds into a slow meditative warble. Drenched in distortion, this is the aural equivalent to a bank of cosmic fog. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Serpent Worship is the sheer intrigue layered into the composition; it genuinely wasn’t until the third listen that I realized there are no vocals. The drums, while simple in their application, add significant interest in the midst of meandering riffage, and that alone is a major accomplishment. If you’re a fan of the low, the slow, and the mind-altering, this EP comes highly recommended.
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.