Monday 25 May 2015

Shrine Of The Serpent - S/T EP


1. 9 Gates Of Shadow
2. King In Red
3. Gods Of Blight

As I tuck into one of my favourite dark beers, it's only right that I listen to something equally as dark. This is the debut EP from Portland (Oregon) doom band Shrine Of The Serpent. This band initially went by the name of Tenspeed Warlock when they formed in 2008 and remained until 2014, before changing to the name they have today. Featuring members that have links to Aldebaran (Profound Lore) and Roanoke, they're due to release their self-titled debut on tape/vinyl via Parasitic Records (also of Portland) and have already released a special CD version. 

I know a fair few people who will be hooked on this as soon as opener 9 Gates Of Shadow unfurls itself. Shrine Of The Serpent are truly hideous (in the best possible way). Their’s is a despairingly heavy death/doom sound, but one which isn’t all doom and gloom. There are moments of metallic clarity amongst the riffs that make this more that just a staple doom record. This EP tells a story. It’s riffs and structure seem to wander throughout like some kind of evil storyboard. King In Red continues where the thickness of 9 Gates Of Shadow left off. The kick-drum in the opening bars creates a vortex-like effect when held up against the lurching guitars. Dragging you deeper and deeper into your own hell! Not even the occasional groove can save you here. It’s obvious that this is the work of experienced musicians. There’s a quality about the music and the production that screams perfection, without being over-produced or false. Just when you think that Shrine Of The Serpent can’t get any heavier, they launch into Gods Of Blight, which is just that! Infiltrated by subtle strains of NOLA sludge, they march on to destroy all. The song gets truly hypnotic as the same riff is repeated and repeated during the verse. They draw the EP to close in a way that only a doom band can, by slowly edging to a silent end. They don’t care for immediacy or the quick-fix. Shrine Of The Serpent make their craft sound effortless and in doing so, they put together an EP that really deserves to be heard. Brilliant from start to finish.

Stream the EP here:-

You can purchase the EP both digitally or on CD (with cover art designed by the band) from their bandcamp page above.

I'm able to find any further news or links regarding tape/vinyl pressings, but keep an eye out via the band's website here -

Shrine Of The Serpent Facebook -

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