Serpent ov Old – Miskatonic Abysmal Path (2019)

After releasing an impressive debut back in 2012, then proceeding to vanish amidst the shadows, briefly emerging out of the mist and fog with a cryptic 2-track offering in late Summer 2018… Serpent ov Old, perhaps the most interesting Metal project of the past 15 years (if only to the the present author’s particular personal perspective and tastes musical and otherwise), have finally released their long-awaited sophomore full-length.

As far as a description of Serpent ov Old’s sound and style up to this point is concerned, there is admittedly very little that can be added to veteran scribe D.A.R.G.’s thoroughly astute exegesis on the matter.

As for the new developments that 2019’s Miskatonic Abysmal Path brings to the table, the various tracks on hand present a diverse mix of potential paths to bridge off the iconoclastic Blackened Powerful Serpent sound of old.

The riff-writing and general style shown on most of the tracks here have a tendency to a more “solid” method of construction, leaning towards more of the Heavy Metal side of the band’s persuasion, while also being generally more mid-paced in comparison to the kinetic blasting dramaticism characteristic of previous work. Admittedly in a few places this can almost come perilously close to exuding sonic reminiscences of Melo-Death, but the consistently competent level of composition generally serves to balance out the emphasis on the more Rockier and (what D.A.R.G. refers to as) “personal flavour” elements of the group emphasised in such pieces.

All of these songs are perfectly enjoyable in their own right, some like “Night ov the Hexes” are even compelling at points, but the present author can’t help but feel that some certain intangible “je ne sais quoi” is being held back from reaching its full potential for much of the record.

However, there is one exceptional track here that, both in terms of style and quality, unquestionably stands out clearly and strongly from the rest of the album combined, and that is none other than “TO CARRY THE BLACK FLAME”. (Which was wisely selected as the preview single.) As far as the present author is concerned, this astonishingly spell-binding opus is easily the greatest Serpent ov Old composition to date, as well as the best song released in 2019 that they have heard so far at this halfway point into the year. (Although the latter is admittedly not saying much, at least at this point).

In the final paragraph of his review for the debut, D.A.R.G. wrote about the “personal flavour” of Serpent ov Old’s “inward looking” exuberant/anguished/emotional flair being the most limiting element of the group’s music up to that point, while also hinting that – if properly subsumed and assimilated – it could paradoxically become the key to “the creation of a new type of being”, “[communicating] a general intimation of what is presenced from beyond”. Regardless of what one makes of the rest of the album, there is no question that “To Carry the Black Flame” is the closest step forward songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Schatz and co. have come so far to realizing such an ideal. Right from the opening jolt of Lawrence Wallace’s hallucinogenic sweep-picking salvo of impressionistic conjuration, the 7-minute opus does not let up with presencing a soundscape that is genuinely dark, mysterious and hypnotic in nature – almost reminiscent of the vision of the greatest channelings of the classic Norwegian school of manifestation, yet totally individual in its own right as such shadowy hypnotism is seamlessly blended and empowered through an enthrallingly focused, surging vehicle of relentless kinetic ascension akin to the method of Heavy/Power/Speed Metal stylings. This sinister work, blending mystic hypnotism within relentless activity and violence through irrefragable hatred bursting towards intimations of greater states of being amidst darker realms of experience certainly can’t help but bring to mind the posited goal of “a new space [being] opened up through the self as a gate”.

All in all, while Withering Hope (at least for now) remains as the more overall cohesively definitive Serpent ov Old record to date, the keys to the gates to significantly Higher Level pathways of future black art ascension are embedded amidst the more externally conventional offerings presented herein.

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24 thoughts on “Serpent ov Old – Miskatonic Abysmal Path (2019)”

  1. retard jesus says:

    hmm, this sounds promising, though not sure how this particular track holds up against the classics on Poison Pure Suicide like This Insidious Gospel and Banished

    good on you for keeping up the coverage of this stellar band though. besides SoO, the only post-1996 bands I’ve been listening to all year are Sammath and Phantom, that alone speaks to the deeply rooted power of the music. presenting the sinister indeed!

    1. S.C. says:

      How does your listening preferences speak for anything?

      1. retard jesus - speaking with the patience if a preschool teacher edition says:

        my ear is far more trained than the average internet metal scrub so my support of a band means damn near inconceivably more regarding their quality than what any other poster around here, considering all the old heads have abandoned ship long since for obvious reasons

        1. S.C. says:

          Haha sounds like delusions of grandeur. Get your own cock out of your ass. Nobody gives a shit what you listen to.

          1. retard jesus says:

            you care enough to post about it twice!

            don’t be mad that my cock is long enough to shove up my own ass, I’m sure you have talents too, or didn’t your mommy ever tell you?

            1. S.C. says:

              A cock that big would sap all the blood flow from your brain. That would account for the delusions

              1. retard jesus - vampiyah edition says:

                that’s not how anatomy works but if it were the case I know of plenty of bleeding pussies who shall provide me with extra nourishment! slurp slurp slurp

  2. Claudia Roth says:

    This sounds like generic symphonic metal rehashed into black metal. The intro might aswell be used by an 80s disco group between dance tracks.

    1. retard jesus - the adults are talking edition says:

      it *is* symphonic black metal, you thimble-headed gherkin. I take it you’ve been “into” metal for about 3 months and think “symphonic” metal means incompetent Rush clones with overblown digital synthesizers compensating for lack of any riffs not lifted directly out of Aerosmith deep cuts

      or are you ACTUALLY claudia roth, and just trying to troll cuz you find yourself bored having run out of imaginary neo nazi astroturf campaigns to protest?

      1. Claudia Roth says:

        I’ll leave your generic Steve Vai leftover riffs and stick with Far Away from the Sun, thank you.

        1. retard jesus - flaying pharisees in the temple edition says:

          lel. sacramanetum is limpwristed flaccid shemale emo. THIS serpent shit has MIGHT bound up in those sexy, sinister coils, but your obsession with big floppy penis clouds your perspective

          at least get some original insults bro cuz I know you lifted that Steve Vai jab from someone else’s comment, where it actually applied (mithras), unlike in this instance. a more relevant comparison would be perhaps Michael Angelo Batio, assuming you were going after the shred style leads. what the fuck does a Steve Vai “riff” even sound like? further evidence that you have no original thought in your head

  3. Dipshit Reacts says:

    Hello everyone, today I will listen to Serpent ov Old and tell you what I think about it.

    Oh, cool. I like the guitars. Maybe it sounds a bit like Steve Vai?

    Nice, melodic death metal with black metal vocals always sounds good!

    Wow, now it reminds me of Chuck Shuldiner’s lead playing! And the riffing and the drumming is really good too.

    I love the atmospheric vibe. So many great bands are using this sound.

    Oh shit it just got heavy!!!!! It almost reminds me of Gorgoroth. Did Yngvie Malmsteen play on this?

    I have no idea what he is saying, but that’s what I love about this style of music!

    Hmm, sounding darker and scarier now. Oh hey, he’s not screaming anymore.

    I love the energy now. Some albums sound the same all the way through, but on this one, all the tracks are different. Awesome!

    Hey wait a minute, what’s going on in the cover art? Is it like an old fashioned court trial?

    I think the production is pretty good overall. Can’t hear the bass though.

    Yesss! Play those evil devil tritones! \m/ This is a badass riff, I’m headbanging right now!

    Well guys, this was a pretty good album. I enjoyed listening to it with you guys. Please like, subscribe, share on social media, and leave a comment to suggest what I should react to next.

    Stay metal.

    1. +1 like says:

      You should start a youtube channel. Make sure to have a racially ambiguous friend/wife/children with you too, that way you can reap even more cash.

      1. Not subbing unless one of the kids is transgender and has rainbow hair.

  4. NWN War Metal Tranny Rapist says:

    Faggot shemale music! Sodomize the tranny! Rape the shemale! Show no mercy upon the ladyboys.

    1. Wokest nigga in the jungle says:

      She who rapes last, rapes best!

      Transpocalypse now!

  5. Belisario says:

    This is not the sophomore, but the third full album from Serpent ov Old. Besides Withering Hope, there was another one from the same year (2012) called Serpent ov Synth. I can’t speak for it as I haven’t heard it yet, but it can be found at the band’s Bandcamp site, just like this new one in its entirety:

    1. retard jesus says:

      serpent ov synth is just tracks from the first 3 releases played on a synthesizer. not even very interesting after hearing once, entirely skippable

    2. I was expecting someone to say this lol

      “Serpent ov Synth” is literally just “stripped down” synth versions of the entirety of Withering Hope. It’s not even an entirely new recording, according to an interview it is just the isolated synth tracks from the original album with the vox/guitars/drums removed.

      It’s a really cool release and a must listen for any fan (or even skeptic) of Withering Hope. But even though it’s technically listed as a full-length I personally don’t count it as an entirely separate major album statement.

      1. Belisario says:

        I also thought “Serpent ov Synth” was only technically a full-length until I saw the new one presented as “the third full length” on the band’s Bandcamp site.

  6. Hereweald’s social worker says:

    Sorry but this is truly average

    1. Harder Than Your Husband says:

      I’ve been listening to a lot of average metal, and this kills all of it.

      1. retard jesus says:

        indeed this band is a great litmus test, just like kaeck and serpent ascending

        if you think those bands are good, but that serpent ov old is anything less than stellar, you need to come back in 10 years and try again

        and of course there’s phantom. if you don’t recognize what they’re doing, just quit listening to metal altogether cuz you’re probably just here due to being mad at your pastor for squeezing your crotch a bit too hard to really be comfortable but not quite hard enough to really get you off… man life is tough for the retarded! good thing they have a saviour who really cares about those sad little lost lambs

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