One of modern black metal’s best-kept secrets, SERPENT NOIR have been a study in patience and perseverence. Forming in 2006 in Athens, Greece, over the next number of years, the trio would steadily release an EP, album, and split through the well-respected Daemon Worship label, slowly finessing a refreshing take on the orthodox black metal idiom. However, it was 2015’s Erotomysticism whereby SERPENT NOIR would truly hit their stride. Largely sticking to a stark mid-tempo, as perhaps presaged by the alluring title itself, Erotomysticism luxuriously ‘n’ languorously resided in an ever-unique swamp that was sulfurously bewitching – and was quite simply without peer.
Now, striding forth from the waking-dream ether, SERPENT NOIR emerge once again with a challenging new configuration bearing the ominous title Death Clan OD. An iron-fisted expression of their past, present, and future, here with Death Clan OD does SERPENT NOIR create a poignant panorama of scintillating death energies, ranging the rich history of black metal in addition to the darkest expanses of traditional heavy metal. It’s a taut ‘n’ strident 37 minutes, feeling far vaster than that succinct runtime suggests, as each of the album’s seven component tracks wind and wend down shadowy paths and serpentine sensations. And despite this seemingly more traditional integration of classic heavy metal tropes, let it be known that Death Clan OD is a heavily occult-infused work; while the occult has always provided a deeply entrenched foundation for SERPENT NOIR, on this new album are they graced with lyrics entirely written by esteemed occult author Thomas Karlsson, who also provides haunting guest vocals on the record’s climactic closer “GOEH RA REAH: Garm Unchained.” Altogether, this spirit of collaboration and exploration make Death Clan OD the most fully realized SERPENT NOIR work to date, dedicated as it is to the Knighthood of OD.
The shadow side dawns, with ever-illuminating rays piercing outward. Receive thy clandestine communion and join SERPENT NOIR’s Death Clan OD!