“Incantations of Vengeance”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Now submitted for our approval is “Incantations of Vengeance” by Oakland 3-piece Serpent Crown and a look at the cover is not too encouraging. It looks like someone’s middle school art project. But we soldier on and hope for the best.

This is a sturdy piece of work that most undemanding metalheads should enjoy. Press release describes the style as “sludge-thrash” and while that’s not entirely off the mark, to me there’s more of a feel of dark, baroque power metal like a grimier Metal Church. Majestic and powerful riffs can be found in “Conjurings of the Damned” and “Martyr” and the pace never gets out of control or speed for speed’s sake. We have a female vocalist here and while she puts her heart into the occult lyrics, a great singer she is definitely not and by the end of the album, her voice begins to bellow instead of bewitch. At no point does the technical skill of the band evolve beyond the “average” mark, but the quality of the tunes keeps the record from being a failure.

A workman-like slab of dark metal that should appeal to doom and power metal fans more than diehard thrashers. They will have to grow significantly on their next effort.