|Review: HOD - Serpent|
Label: Ibex Moon Records
Year released: 2009
Review online: April 4, 2009
Reviewed by: Mike Henn
Rated 2.75/5 (55%) (8 Votes)
Despite the fact that Texas plays host to a respectably sized slew of Black Metal bands, most of them seem forever doomed to live in the shadow of the mighty Absu. New Black/Death outfit HOD does a pretty good job of reminding us that there are other things inside that big, dumb cousin of the USA apart from Absu and King Diamond (for the time being at least). Despite only being formed less than two years ago, all of the members have been involved in the scene for nearly two decades, so you can expect something that sounds like some seasoned veterans cranking out some vicious metal as opposed to a bunch of kids hopelessly paying tribute to their idols. Their debut full-length, Serpent, consists of seven razor sharp, high tempo, aggressive Black/Death tracks that never slow down enough to give your neck a break. It's just constant pummeling from the get go, just the way the style should be played. To paint a vivid picture as to what the band sounds like, imagine Goatwhore amped up the Black Metal in the riffing department, nearly eliminated their blast beats, and recruited Taz from Looney Toons for vocal duties. That's right; these vocals come off as hilarious as opposed to hateful. I understand that metal is a great medium to be as ridiculous as possible but still be extremely cool at the same time, but this is an entirely different level. The LAST thing you want a Black Metal album to remind you of is a children's cartoon. Apart from this one setback, HOD holds up very well amongst the sea of mediocrity nowadays. There aren't any real standout tracks, but the album itself is an enjoyable journey through the depths of hatred and revenge.
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