This church-burner clocks in at just over a half hour, so although a short album, it is at least long enough to be considered an LP. But what’s it sound like? In short, Serpents… is a distillation of their three previous albums. The production is supreme (I can even distinctly hear the bass this time!), the riffs and the drumming are as Hellish as you would expect, and the band’s trademarked catchyness is totally intact. There are some improvements, too. The vox are somewhat more understandable, but still utterly demonic. It’s an excellent compromise between clarity and brutality, and Glen would be well advised to stick with this style. And the guitar solos: With every album the Hoffman brothers have improved their leadwork, but this is the most notable progression yet. When Deicide came out in 1990, a lot of critics complained about the use of a harmonizer on the vocals, and the, shall we say, sloppy guitar solos. Their next album, Legion, was an attempt to prove that the band could play in a more technical style, and that plan backfired to a certain degree. Then Once Upon the Cross was unleashed, and the godkillers were well on their way back to glory. Serpents… can only be seen as the perfection of their efforts. Yes, there is a riff or two on here that is not 100% certified by Lord Satan, but this is very close to flawless. One thing I find a little odd about the lyrics, is this: They say “christ” more often than Mortification and Living Sacrifice combined! I know that Deicide says stuff like “fuck the christ,” or whatever, but maybe it would be cool to find a way to praise Satan without saying “christ this” and “christ that.” Let’s keep that joker out of it.
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