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On disc: Serpentia

The Day In The Year Of Candles - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars

The Day In The Year Of Candles

The Day In The Year Of Candles
(Recession Records - 2011)

Serpentia was founded in 1996/1997 in Cracow and as so many bands they had to face some line-up changes. In 2000 their debut, an MCD was released. ... And The Angels Descended To Earth was their first step into limelight. They played shows in their home country, opening for their fellow countrymen Vader and Decapitated, to name a few. Dark Fields Of Pain (2003) was their full-length debut followed by Nails Enigma in 2004. Now they are back with The Day In The Year Of Candles.

The intro is called Archangel and slowly leads you into a dark atmospheric metal tune. The whispered words and spoken word parts give the song it's atmosphere... it's dark edge while the guitars are quite melodic. With On The Wings Of Destiny they head into the melodic death metal genre, but the song offers slow, melodic guitar passages next to heavy, bulky riffs. Bassist Ivy is also handling the vocals - sometimes growls, sometimes deep but melodic vocals. Damian's guitar play sometimes reminds me a bit of old Paradise Lost... Again the Polish band is offering a concept album, the story begins in heaven, then God disappears and archangel Gabriel proclaims it a republic. This sparks a war in heaven, hell and on Earth.

You can check out Proclamation Of Tragedy yourself! Watch the video the guys did for it!

At Pain No More they combine harsh vocals and heavy riffs with melodic, atmospheric passages. Due to the story the album is like a sonic roller coaster ride. At Death Is My Only Friend some passages remind me of Draconian Times / One Second era while the riff-based parts are heavier and more modern - so to speak. Personally I like the Paradise Lost sounding passages, so I won't complain.

The closer is called Psalm bezskrzydly / The Wingless Psalm and it sticks out due to the use of Polish words. Personally I like the fact that they use their mother's tongue, it gives the song a different feel. In the booklet you'll find the English words, so they don't leave you in the dark.

If you like atmospheric elements and still listen to Paradise Lost's mid-90's releases, then you should check out the new Serpentia album. If you are into fast, brutal death metal, then you won't fall for The Day In The Year Of Candles. Okay, musically not very innovative, but they deliver a decent album. Conceptual albums demand certain elements to support the story and most bands find it difficult to do concept albums. Serpentia feel comfortable in the story-telling genre, so give it a chance!

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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