As eager as we are to tear into the stockpile of 2015 releases we have overwhelming the Meat Mead Metal inbox, there’s still one more record from 2014 pulling us back. And rightfully so, because this slab is jam packed with power and is something we worry may have gotten lost in the December mix.
Just a few damn days before the Christmas holiday, Denver doom crushers In the Company of Serpents unloaded a three-track assault “Merging in Light” that will wallop the hell out of you. In fact, we initially came to know of the band when they sent us their self-titled 2012 release, featured in our first-ever reader submission column. As good as that collection is, the band’s just gotten heavier and mightier as time has gone on, with an extra helping of dirt and grime smothered over their work for good measure. Their riffs are meatier and more vitriolic, and their overall presentation has grown but still maintains a rawness that keeps them grounded and cataclysmically crushing.
“Merging in Light” is the band’s first effort since 2013’s “Of the Flock,” and it finds the duo—guitarist/vocalist Grant Netzorg and drummer Joseph Weller Myer—throwing all kind of racket everywhere. The three tracks, produced by Dave Otero (who worked with Nightbringer, Primitive Man, and Cephalic Carnage, among others), should be enough to get your blood boiling while cold, frigid weather chaps at your face and leaves you shivering for protection. This shit is heavy as hell. I know that sounds simplistic or obvious, but it just is. Massively so. This is a record every doom and sludge lover should go grab right now, because you don’t want to miss out on this filthy monster.
“Breed, Consume, Die” is a devastating opener, one that should already have you feeling nice and rumbly inside from the first seconds. Strange clouds of feedback waft over you, leading into an awesome doom groove that’ll make you want to throw concrete through a window. There is a heavy Sabbath aura in spots, especially in the massive riffs, and the track trudges and crushes you, destroying in the trenches musically, while Netzorg’s massive roars feel like violent admonishment. “Third Mind” keeps the machine moving hard with devastating crunch and powerful clubbing. The vocals are corrosive once again, and there’s even a devious heaviness to what’s going on here, as the bruising melodies get inside you and burn hard. It’s an awesome bit of thrashiness.
Closer “A Union of Opposites” runs 9:40, the heftiest beast on this effort, but it starts on a much different note with some bright shimmering. It’s short lived as the bottom drops and pretty much gets ripped out, with smothering grooves setting in, doom fury making its presence known, and the vocals once again sounding nasty. The guys just whip the shit out of you on this cut, offering zero mercy and letting blow after blow be delivered to your face and body. With about two minutes left, the guys start grinding the gears more slowly, though no less heavily as they keep the pressure and might building until they finally relent their grip and let you breathe again.
In the Company of Serpents are well on their way to becoming one of the underground doom scene’s most furious bands. They have a nice collection of releases under their belts, and as “Merging in Light” goes to prove, they keep sharpening their weapons and refining their assault. It’s only a matter of time before this band is on more people’s minds, and you’re going to seem like a really smart person if you’re up on this band before all your slow-moving friends. You won’t be sorry, though you might be sore.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/InTheCompanyOfSerpents
To buy the album, go here: http://inthecompanyofserpentsdoom.bandcamp.com/