Click HERE to read an interview with Serpent Noir and listen to ‘Sanguis XI’…

Summoning a wild current of dark energy comes Greece’s Serpent Noir with Sanguis XI, released by Daemon Worship Productions.  Six tracks of hypnotic Black Metal ritual assault the listener on Sanguis XI; making for an experience that is as transcendental as it is mysterious.

After a brief atmospheric opening titled ‘Paroketh’, the Veil of Illusion is torn away as Serpent Noir invokes ‘Midnight Consciousness’ with a driving guitar theme and climbing tempo that eventually becomes a full on attack of the senses.  The repetitive guitar riff grows tiresome but manages draw the listener into the circle, entrancing the mind and unraveling the subconscious.  ‘Invocation of Sorath’ and ‘The Disputers’ both carry a similar formula of mind-alteration with a few more aggressive and blasting passages scattered amongst the songs. Although this formula does little to help separate the songs from one another, it does convey a sense of unease; of other-worldly wonder and alien atmosphere…a theme that is best presented on track five…

‘Ritual Draconis’, a two part, six minute, invocation, is a great embodiment, in my opinion, of what Serpent Noir does best:  create mysterious atmosphere. Intoning ambient arrangements, whispering vocals, hauntingly clean guitar and some well-suited hand percussion or ‘bongos’ make Part One: ‘Opening the Eye of Set’, a perfect cleansing ritual for the chaos that follows. ‘Rising of the Dragonforce’ begins to build the intensity with a hammering kick drum as whispered vocals become shouts and the room your in begins to spin haphazardly.  You feel feint and nauseas and you shiver with a cold sweat. From across the room, you see yourself lying motionless within the circle and have to wonder, “Is the ritual complete”?

‘The Eleventh Blood’, opening with a black and blasting fury not previously found on Sanguis XI, rips you from your bi-location experience immediately. Calling all the power of the Kundalini to evoke a shift in consciousness, ‘The Eleventh Blood’ closes out Sanguis XI with perfect execution.  Including another acoustic percussion passage similiar to ‘Ritual Draconis’, ‘The Eleventh Blood’ drips with venomous vocals and relentless aggression from unseen forces, enticing others to answer the call…

I found the whole of Sanguis XI to be much too short given the broad subject matter the album deals with.  As I have turned off the stereo now, I can’t help but feel a strong sense of deja vu…a result of the hypnotizing nature of Serpent Noir’s work, no doubt.  Sanguis XI has a concept album ‘feel’ without being obvious and does a good job of remaining interesting by shifting directions throughout the album.

Open Your Eye and Channel the Dragonforce!

http://www.myspace.com/xiserpentnoir