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Rote Mare : Serpents Of The Church

Rote Mare’s first real full-length stands as one of the best 2011 releases in the genre.

It took nearly 5 years to this Australian band to release a first full-length, but the result is damn worth the wait. Musically, the four-piece from Adelaïde is rooted in Traditional Doom, but with a lot of hints toward other subgenres. The riffs are brooding, heavy and thick as a tar pit, and boiling just the same. The pace is slow, very slow. The vocals range from mournful cries to aggressive growls. And the solos never hesitate to go into old Blues Rock territories when needed.

This description could fit so many Traditional Doom bands, so what it is that makes Rote Mare stands above the crowd? Soul and personality. While it's easy to spot the influences of the band (Reverend Bizarre here, Celtic Frost there and a bit of Trouble and even Warhorse all along), Rote Mare never sound like a basic copycat. Take for example the well- named 'Funeral Song': there's some spoken parts coupled with clean guitars, followed by grievous vocals thats sounds like if Rozz Williams has crept out of his grave to come and sing about his own death on a heavy Stoner diet.

The songs are damn long, but never boring. Sometimes there's some spacey drug- infused parts that will reminds you of Electric Wizard or YOB, albeit with a more bluesy feeling. Everything is so well done that you recognize Rote Mare style at the first listening. This is so rare nowadays to find a Traditional Doom band that is able to come up with its own personality that it makes this album a must-have for anyone into the genre. As a tribute, the album ends with a very funny experiment: the song 'Children Of The Sabbath' is entirely composed of lyrics, riffs, names and parts of various Black Sabbath songs from the Ozzy era (you can easily recognize 'Tomorrow's Dream', 'War Pigs', 'Wheels Of Confusion', 'Black Sabbath', and so on...) but it is so well done that it sounds like a real song (or at best, a cover) that just the medley it is in reality. Frankly, there are many bands that do covers of Black Sabbath that are less well done that this well-thought tribute: this alone shows that Rote Mare is not just another average band, but a force to be recognized and whose future holds great promises for the fans.

In his account of their 'Sorrows Path' EP, my fellow reviewer Arnstein was saying: "If [the forthcoming album] is anywhere near as good as this, then it will be a classic." He was right, and 'Serpents Of The Church' is sure to stand as one of the best 2011 releases in the genre.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Serpents Of The Church
2. Crossroads
3. Slow Decay (Sonic Mantra)
4. Funeral Song
5. The Martyr
6. In Dooms Name (The Chosen Ones)
7. Children Of The Sabbath

Duration : Approx. 76 minutes

Visit the Rote Mare bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-08-03 by Laurent Lignon
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