posted on 4/2009 By:
A black/death metal band comprised of dudes that spent time with G.G. Allin and Thornspawn? While certainly less than appealing on paper, Hod is actually a pretty wicked beast. Not "tear down your walls of perception and fuck your soul dry" wicked, mind you, but certainly "clench your fists and channel some dormant hatred" wicked. And we all need that from time-to-time, do we not?
Staggering around in a vomit-encrusted stupor, Serpent throws itself into the doorway, rudely interrupting whatever the hell you were doing with their black tar fueled, early Immolation meets Bestial Mockery racket. It takes a bit of time for the initial brashness to morph into welcomeness. Like many black/death hybrids, low-end heaviness is in short supply. The guitar tones aren't exactly crushing -- instead, they lunge erratically with rusty switchblades. The drums (especially the utterly trashy snare) dominate the mix, fighting vocalist Beer Reeb's bloodgargle for dominance. But those vocals, man -- those filthy, filthy diatribes -- those are Serpent's kicker. In time, the whole package comes together with Reebs' lung-glue. (Love the name, by the way.)
The double-kick driven "Demoralizer" is the highlight of the disc's superior second-half, thrashing things down a detour from the album's relentless blasting. "Nine Days" is a twisting mini-epic, boasting a Orcustus-esque tenacity, as well as the implication that Hod are a tad smarter than they're letting on. Overall, though, there are too few footplant headbangers in full bloom. The seeds have definitely been embedded, but Serpent is tantamount to a brief, slightly one-dimensional haterush. When led by a madman drowning in motor oil and scorched phlegm, this is certainly appealing as a debut record, but their magnum opus has yet to be penned. But mark these words -- it will be penned. The blind mad god will stake his claim.
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