The first time I heard Serpentine Path was a pretty great introduction. I had slept in my car the night before, after going out and partying straight after work and having nowhere to stay. I was on my second or third cup of coffee, hungover as shit, on one of the hottest days of last summer, when one of my coworkers threw on the first self-titled Serpentine Path record. I had no idea who they were or the pedigree of their members. We’ll get that out of the way right now: current/former members of Ramesses, Electric Wizard and Unearthly Trance. It’s one of those things that doesn’t matter, but it TOTALLY does. But, pedigree/former bands aside, Emanations stands on its own as a SICK death-doom record.[audio:http://www.cvltnation.com/wp-content/audio/Systematic_Extinction.mp3|titles=Serpentine Path – Systematic Extinction]
“House Of Worship”: starts off abruptly and violently. Has a hidden, marching groove to it as well as some sonic experimentation. Harsh vocals that smell like leather and unwashed hair.
Right off the bat, this reminds me of 90s death metal with a slower funeral march akin to the godfathers of death-doom, Winter. There is also just enough Sacrliege, Amebix and Axegrinder, and some of the sludgier, more uncomfortable moments remind me of the last Celtic Frost record/current Triptykon material.
“Claws” has a slow part that seems to focus on a very repetitive riff that sucks you in into an almost trance-like lull, until the song kicks back into full gear and proceeds to pummel the shit out of you for the remaining minutes.
“Systematic Extinction” is probably my favorite song on the record, because it has a lot going on while still being somewhat of a straightforward song. There is a really cool synth, or maybe even organ, part that just adds another creepy and cool layer to an already crushing, riff-heavy song. It almost sounds like a lot of the blackened crust bands that were really big a few years ago. The synth/organ is definitely what makes the track, though.
The reverb/sonic parts seem to progress as the record goes on, like you’re going deeper into a crevasse of misery and misanthropy. Like Dante’s levels of hell, but self-inflicted and with way more weed smoke.
Label: Relapse Records