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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Entombed - Serpent Saints / The Ten Amendments

Released : June 2007
Genre : Death 'n' roll, Death metal
Length : 41:24
Label : Threeman Recordings

Serpent Saints is Entombed's first studio album in four long years, yet it's remarkably similar to its predecessor, Inferno (2003), not only in terms of sound but also style, as if it were recorded at the very same session. In fact, all of Entombed's 2000s albums -- Uprising (2000), Morning Star (2002), Inferno (2003), and even the live album Unreal Estate (2005) -- are remarkably similar, unlike the band's 1990s albums, which are a diverse bunch. The consistency of latter-day Entombed is a mixed blessing: on the one hand, it's a welcome consistency, since fans know generally what to expect from each release; on the other hand, fans may also feel less inclined to pick up each successive album, since they're fairly interchangeable on many counts. Thankfully, quality is one of the common features of these latter-day albums. The veteran Swedes, who debuted in 1990 on Earache Records with the death metal landmark Left Hand Path, have a firm command of their talents. Vocalist L.G. Petrov remains snarling and raspy after all these years, and while death metal purists may miss the guttural growling that has become synonymous with this style of music, it's refreshing to actually be able to comprehend word for word the lyrics being sung, all the more so because they're fairly well-written lyrics that are dark and deathly yet not overly serious. The ten songs are credited to all four bandmembers (Petrov, Alex Hellid, Nico Elgstrand, Olle Dahlstedt), and Serpent Saints indeed comes across like a true group effort. Again, it's clear these guys have clearly settled into a comfortable groove. They've developed a style that works well for them; far from innovative, it's nonetheless potent and mighty satisfying for anyone who enjoys straightforward extreme metal free of black metal theatrics, bombast, and pretension. At 41 minutes, Serpent Saints is relatively short, though this too is welcome. Kicking off with a pair of great songs, "Serpent Saints" and "Masters of Death," the latter featuring Killjoy of Necrophagia on secondary vocals, there's little filler here and the band doesn't overextend its stay; they deliver the goods as they have for years, plain and simple. Anyone looking for something new from Entombed on Serpent Saints is sure to be disappointed, while longtime fans looking for more of the goods will be pleased.

Tracks

1. Serpent Saints
2. Masters Of Death
3. Amok
4. Thy Kingdom Coma
5. When In Sodom
6. In The Blood
7. Ministry
8. The Dead, The Dying And The Dying To Be Dead
9. Warfare Plague Famine Death
10.Love Song For Lucifer


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