SERPENT THRONE (White Summer - Black Winter) CD
I wasn't really too enthusiastic about the first SERPENT THRONE album 'Ride Satan Ride'. This was primarily caused by the fact that I missed some real good songs. More or less I have already heard it all before, but presented in a more attractive way. It was just the usual faded doom-drenched heavy rock and the fact that SERPENT THRONE is an instrumental band didn't make their music more interesting, although I have a huge preference for heavy instrumental groups. It's no surprise therefore that I lost interest in the band pretty soon. This is why I cannot tell you anything about the second album 'The Battle Of Old Crow', but what I can tell you today is that their new record 'White Summer - Black Winter' is marvellous. It is always a great pleasure to receive a promo from a band that one does not like, and suddenly the new album turns out to be a highlight. This is clearly the case when it comes to 'White Summer - Black Winter', released by Translation Loss Records in partnership with Waylon Recordings.
At first, I was kinda surprised cos I never expected such a strong album from this Philadelphia-based band. So, what's the reason for my enthusiasm? First of all, SERPENT THRONE has continued to make steady improvements in all fields. The songs are far better than those on 'Ride Satan Ride'. In the meantime, they sound like an ingenious combination of mid-1970's Black Sabbath, late-1970's Scorpions, and early Wishbone Ash, whereby the latter is primarily due to the twin guitar attack of Demian Fenton and Don Argott. It's the double leads on 'White Summer - Black Winter' that make this the best retro twin guitar album of 2010. The melodies and harmonies are infectious and the musicianship is impeccable. With guitarists like them, who needs a singer? Not me.
The songs all evoke a certain mood and feeling, and complement each other perfectly. There are plenty of thoughtful arrangements so that the album is never boring. And even though SERPENT THRONE is firmly rooted in the second half of the 1970's, their songs sound refreshing and vital. It is perhaps not so difficult to discover their influences, but it does not matter. More importantly, SERPENT THRONE have managed to create an energetic heavy sound with many memorable moments. I think it's a beautiful album with a very special almost mysterious vibe to it. Do yourself a favour and buy it. This album just smokes!