Weight Of Light
posted on 4/2009 By:
Growing up in the very metal-friendly days of the 80's, I always envisioned my heavy metal role as a singer. While other friend's honed air guitar skills and banged their heads, I was propping one foot up on the edge of the bed and pointing a finger at my faux audience with a distinct Bruce Dickinson flare. My vocal mirages unfortunately made it difficult for me to connect very deeply with the female fronted bands cropping up here and there, and that's something that's sadly held true even to this day. While I wouldn't quite say I don't care for female vocals, I'll freely admit I prefer male vocals because of those daydream days of yore.
As it turns out, I'm the fool (yet again), because my prejudice has kept high quality works from bands such as Jex Thoth and Serpentcult deep on my backburner when the caliber of their fare has certainly warranted a more timely and attentive ear. Last year's Thoth album eventually crept its way into my top 20, and I'm just now getting around to consuming the Serpentcult works.
I gotta say, Weight of Light is a monstrously heavy record, and I could kick myself for letting this thing slip under my radar for the last six months. The general subject matter is bent on pummeling the listener with a supremely heavy groove-based doom and painting the corners with added flair ala crusty feedback, touches of stoner psychedelia and some quicker paced measures to give listeners a little more to latch onto. And as it turns out, the female vocals that have bucked me for so many years nicely offset the sheer heaviness of a record like this, so I guess I can say I'm finally coming around, thanks in a large part to great voices like Serpentcult's Michelle Nocon.
The sloooowest cuts, "Screams from the Deep," the self-titled track and "Arkanum," have a darker flavor and throw pinches of sludge & crust to give them an almost E.H.G./Melvins panache at times (the beginning of "Arkanum" could easily have fallen on a record like Lysol). On the flip, the more mid-paced numbers, "New World Order," "Templar," "Serpentcult" and the supreme "Red Dawn," all crush with an added playfulness to the groove more akin to stoner bands such as Electric Wizard or early Cathedral. But that goddamned "Red Dawn," brothers and sisters -- THAT'S the killer in the crowd. If Joe Preston had a baby with a 2000lb Clydesdale, the bass fluttering on this tune would be that beast's cry for Mother's milk.
So yes, this record's already been out for six months, but I wanted to pull it back into the spotlight in case any other fans of all that's commandingly crushing let it fall through the cracks for any reason. Weight of Light is definitely worthy of attention and stands as one of the heaviest records I've encountered since Warhorse's cudgeling As Heaven Turns to Ash.
Crank it and let the clobbering commence.
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