SHRINE OF THE SERPENT / BLACK URN – split s/t
Label: Godz Ov War Productions
Release date: December 2017
Country: USA / USA
Genre: Doom Death Metal
2 songs a piece, but who comes out on top?!
Shrine of the Serpent – whose line-up consists of current or former members of Aldebaran, Graves At Sea, Uzala, Lung Molde and Triumvir Foul – are an unfathomable entity, slovenly crawling through 9 minute cess-pools of bleak nihility and everlasting torment.
Which is great! Who doesn’t love a juicy slice of lumbering death/doom first thing in the morning?
We certainly do and Shrine of the Serpent prove more than adept at pulling a reverberating riff into ever contorted shapes as the band shuffle through the excellent “Desicrated Tomb” and the sonically similar (you won’t expecting variety were you?!), “Catacombs Of Flesh”. 7/10
Black Urn are an altogether different proposition entirely.
They may be rooted in death/doom, but there’s a strangely alluring tranquility undercutting the guttural vocals which marks them out as ethereal beasts to keep a watchful eye on. When they do go full-tilt, their noise is an strong and as aggressive as the next man (band) but it’s the hypnotic moments of near prog metal (particularly on “My Strength Is Within Heavenless Plains”) that Black Urn reek of something worth investigating further. 7/10
We’ll call that a draw. Nice split lads, nice split.