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In the Company of Serpents : In The Company Of Serpents

The worst thing about In The Company Of Serpents is that they wear their influences on their sleeve.

Often, when I first hear a band, my reaction ranges from "meh", to "eh, not bad". Very rarely, however, I utter an audible "wow, nice!". In The Company Of Serpents is one of the few new bands where my reaction was firmly entrenched in the "wow, nice!" category.

Right from the beginning, this two piece from Denver, Colorado, pound you in the skull, and don't let up for the next 37 minutes. The intro (appropriately titled, well, 'Intro') lets you know right away what you're getting into. Thick and heavy, like a cloud of dope smoke (I apologise for the cliche, but it's appropriate). Hints of Electric Wizard are an easy comparison, but I'm also going to throw out HALO, and Neurosis. The first mostly for the chugging, machine-like guitar style (there's doomy groove here too though, don't worry!), and the second for the vocals.

Speaking of doomy groove, third track, 'Immolation' has it in spades. If you're a fan of riffing, and heavy as hell doom, then this one's for you. The Neurosis-like vocals really complement the track nicely. Of course, don't expect something you can chill out to here, otherwise that bulldozer-like chugging guitar attack will quickly run you into the ground.

Fourth track 'Malice' is probably the fastest, and most agressive thing here. The heavy machinery that is In The Company Of Serpents briefly takes flight, and hits you with a sonic air strike. You know, just to keep you on your toes. It's a nice complement to the second song, 'Dirtnap', and slides wonderfully into the fifth, 'Canto III Inferno'. Really, the wall of guitars here are more like a monolith. More specifically, one that's about to come crashing down directly on you, dear listener.

The demo ends nicely with a cover of Electric Wizard's 'Vinum Sabbathi' (From their 2000 epic, Dopethrone, of course), just in case you weren't sure of where In The Company Of Serpents' influences lie. It is, however, surprisingly (or by now, perhaps not so surprisingly) heavier than the original.

So, what else can I say about these guys? ...something negative, perhaps? Well, I have a hard time finding anything to complain about. The worst thing I could say, is that In The Company Of Serpents wear their influences on their sleeve. You won't be blown away by the most original thing ever here. Having said that, the guys do carve their own niche. I've never had a band take me to the darkest moors of England, then to the swamps of New Orleans, and back, many times, in the span of a few songs. Crushing, unrelenting, and surprisingly groovy at times, this demo does not disappoint!

It can be purchased from their bandcamp page as a cassette (hell, yes!) with digital download, or just as a digital download.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Intro
2. Ditnap
3. Immolation
4. Malice
5. Canto III Inferno
6. Vinum Sabbathi (Electric Wizard)

Duration : Approx. 37 minutes

Visit the In the Company of Serpents bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-04-11 by Matt Zuchowski
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