Release DetailsLABEL I Hate Records
RELEASED ON 4/23/2007
Trident Nor Fire
posted on 6/2007 By:
After the shocking and disturbing events surrounding the frontman of Belgian sludgy doom troopers Thee Plague of Gentlemen in the middle part of 2006, it would have been easy for guitarist Frederic Caure, bassist Steven Van Cauwenbergh and drummer Frederik Cosemans to feel somewhat discouraged and concerned about their future in music. Nobody in their right mind could have blamed them if they were to choose to walk away from the business, as thoughts of the ever so common “guilty by association” way of thinking that a lot of people live by could have easily fooled them into believing their future path in music would be littered with merciless road blocks and unforgiving obstacles. Thanks to the ever so reliable I Hate Records and the label's honorable decision to stick with the trio of musicians mentioned above – who could hardly be blamed for any of the actions of their bandmate that led to the official bereavement of TPoG – they’ve been given the much deserved chance to continue on within the world of metal music under their new moniker, Serpentcult, without a doubt one of the cooler band names I’ve run across in quite some time.
Trident Nor Fire runs approximately 18 minutes and contains three original tracks comprised of southern sludge flavored groove-laden doom with some mid-tempo chugging, and a crushingly heavy rendition of Uriah Heep’s "Rainbow Demon" (1972) thrown on at the end as a bonus. The most noticeable difference between new group and old is the addition of front woman Michelle Colon, whose stunningly exquisite vocal performance flaunts some impressive low end melodic tonality to some equally eloquent high end wails with a touch of vibrato sprinkled here and there, not to mention an occasional beastly grunt tossed into the mix, though very rare. The guitar sound comes in the form of heavily down-tuned and slightly fuzzed out heft backed by a rhythm section filled with hard hitting, powerhouse chops that, while not overly flashy, serve as the perfect backbone and sidekick for the notey bass runs that slither in and throughout each number. Serpentcult also doesn't shy away from elevating the tempo a bit, especially in the opening track, showing a desire to add a bit of pep to their step instead of relying on a slower, grinding gait all the time. The mix is about as good as it gets for the style, with each individual nuance of each instrument at equal levels and the overall sound shining through with impressively effective potency. No gloss, no polish, no studio tricks; there's just a balls out heavy as sin, ruthlessly raw vibe that suits the songs very, very well.
Even though we’re only getting a small glimpse of what the band is fully capable of here, the three original tracks on display are enough to convince me that the group has the songwriting skills to put out a full album’s worth of material that will please any and all fans who lust after this style. From the doom n’ groove interplay during the opening moments of "The Harvest" that lead into a more aggressive and speedier flow, to the lurching and mountainous riff heard clawing and scratching its way through the verse of "Red Dawn", to the flavorful bass runs and southern-ish sludge-hammer to the skull beating you’ll receive throughout the majority of "Screams From the Deep", the end result is a sweet tasting little teaser that will keep you anticipating the full-length release that should be available tentatively in early 2008.
At the end of the day it’s tough to gauge the future of any band simply based on a mere three original compositions, but I’d be lying if I said that Trident Nor Fire doesn’t have me chomping at the bit for that upcoming full-length release. Fans of all that is I Hate Records are surely gonna want to fork over the dough for this, and even though it’s only three original tracks (and a cover) I'd have to say it's well worth your green and ultimately your time. If this MCD is any indication of the days to come, folks will be content knowing this small platter of heft is sitting in their collection smack dab next to what should be one hell of a debut full-length release. Kudos to the remaining members of TPoG for trudging on with the very promising Serpentcult, and kudos to them for doing so in such convincing fashion.
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