Serpents Oath – Nihil

In, “Nihil”, Serpents Oath on Soulseller Records, has produced a great black metal album. Specifically, the opening ‘intro’ track, ‘Vox Mortis,’ opens with this soundtrack-like whisper or a quiet music and chant section, for seventeen seconds shy of two full minutes, sets the tone and the allows for a break to the full musical force of track two, ‘Speaking In Tongues.’ The vocals come out really well in that opening.

The vocals are quite unique in this album in that they are subtly quite conformed to the black metal screech, albeit with a lower level of screech. Truly, I would suggest the vocals have a death metal edge in the bass of the style. I don’t mean to suggest they are guttural, not at all. But the low styling of the wails also opens the way to very concise delivery, wherein the vocals start and stop more distinctly that ephemeral, which is something we are increasingly connecting with black metals embrace of atmosphere. The vocals in “Nihil” do not dot follow this trajectory.

I particularly enjoyed the fifth track, ‘Malediction,’ because it brings out these vocal stylings along with a very cool degree of guitar technique and musical layers. The guitar opens with classic tremolo stylings, but then starts a more picked riff, and then transitions into a kind of discordant arpeggiation of a kind – which does a very good job of destabilizing the sounds underneath those tighter wails I have been talking about. It really works together. The track then transitions back into the way it opens. Very creative.

The album takes several other swings and changes, stylistically, as it traverses the tracks it contains, specifically the slowdown of ‘Mephisto’ to the outright blast of ‘The Beast Reborn.’ In this way, the energy of the album is maintained, modulated, and sounds simply crafted, we don’t always get that. I enjoyed this album, and I think you will as well.

5 / 5 STARS 

Reviewer: Jesse

Dec 8, 2020

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Serpents Oath – Nihil

review Serpents Oath - Nihil

1. Vox Mortis
2. Speaking In Tongues
3. Leviathan Speaks
4. Thrice Cursed
5. Malediction
6. Serpents Of Eight
7. Bestia Resurrectus
8. Into The Abyss
9. Mephisto
10. The Beast Reborn
11. The Swords Of Night And Day
12. Beyond The Gates

5

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