My latest review is up on Summoning Spirits, this time for Hyena by Serpent Eater, a grand mix of extreme metal genres that sounds terrible on paper, but makes for a great record.
“At the risk of stating the obvious, extreme music should be, well, extreme. It shouldn’t be the kind of music that makes for fence-sitting or passive background listening. Regardless of whether we’re talking about noise, metal, punk, or any other genre that can fall under the category, extreme music should provoke a reaction, be it positive or negative. Too many bands fail to do that. Sure, they might play at the “right” volume or tempo, and they might think they’ve playing with enough intensity, but something, some intangible quality, is missing. This seems especially true when bands pull a diverse set of influences together. Such genre-bending can come across as more of an academic exercise than anything sincere or even enjoyable. Bringing together black, death, doom, crust, hardcore, and 70s rock influences, I was worried that Serpent Eater would fall into such a trap on their Hyena album. Thankfully, my fears were misplaced.”
Read the full review at Summoning Spirits.