Release DetailsLABEL Roadrunner
RELEASED ON 8/7/2007
posted on 8/2007 By:
Ranging from metalcore-cum-keyboards to Gothenburg-like melodeath, Still Remains’s The Serpent is a safe, by-the-numbers listen that is frankly more retread than not. Nevertheless, their superior Roadrunner debut Of Love and Lunacy had to have sold well, and in turn paved the way for a follow-up. Otherwise, their second installment would’ve been in the market for a new home…right?
While keyboards can be heard in similar outfits, Still Remains don’t needlessly draw attention to the synthesizer, but, instead, use it to support the melodies and add to the overall ambiance. Though The Serpent has some bite – the title track, Gothenburg-influenced “Stay Captive,” “The River Song,” “An Undesired Reunion” – it comes across as a sterile record, which squeaky clean vocals and pedestrian numbers such as “The Wax Walls of an Empty Room,” the poppy “Anemia in Your Sheets,” and forgettable instrumental “Sleepless Nights Alone” further weaken. Even the commanding, upfront growls can’t save this sinking ship. There are a handful of bearable tunes, however, that walk the middle ground between generic metalcore and slick melodeath – “Maria,” “Dropped from the Cherry Tree,” “Dancing with the Enemy,” and bookend “Avalanche.” Unfortunately, none of them achieve brilliance, or anything close.
In line with the latest from Nuclear Blast’s Sonic Syndicate – in the sense that both bands are signed to huge metal labels and are rehashing a style whose heyday is evidently long gone – it’s baffling that these kinds of albums sell as well as they presumably do. Considering that, though, Still Remains are a tight unit with a polished sound, but The Serpent lacks venom. Step over it and continue on your way.
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