Author: Craig Matthews
What happens when KILLSWITCH ENGAGE guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, CANNIBAL CORPSE vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher and former THE BLACK DALHIA MURDER drummer Shannon Lucas all decide to have a beer behind the scenes of a Metal festival? They form supergroup SERPENTINE DOMINION of course! Conceived back in 2009 these guys have been understandably “distracted” until this year when they decided to release of their self-titled debut album. The Cover art is the first impression you get, and judging by the grim reaper holding a burning globe, this looks promising!
The album starts with an instrumental track which is very nicely done with a catchy guitar riff. Don’t let this fool you though, because when “The Vengeance In Me” begins, it’s straight to business; and I have to admit so far, business is good. This is a full frontal metal assault, the guitar work from Adam is liquefying my face and I’m pretty sure Shannon Lucas is in fact part man, part drumming machine. The pace is fast, the sound is brutal and George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher’s vocals sound like they came straight from hell.
The metal assault carries on through the next track “Divide, Conquer, Burn and Destroy” I feel like I’m being bounced around a pit in my own front room. Until we get to “Sovereign Hate” and the brakes come on, and things start to get much more melodic. Now don’t get me wrong, It’s never good to keep exactly the same sound through the album, I just feel like the heavier faster sound of the first tracks had some more mileage and could have carried on for a few more tracks.
The new more melodic sound carries on through the next few tracks, and even at one point I’m starting to hear a really distinct similarity to KILLSWITCH ENGAGE… almost too much. But the band change things up again with another instrumental track “prelude”. This is a nice, almost haunting intro into the final track “This Endless War” another well-crafted Melodic Death Metal track. Sadly I’m just not feeling it after such a brutal in ‘in your face’ start, it feels like they sort of ran out of steam.
SERPENTINE DOMINION for me started out great, a real face destroying Death Metal onslaught. As the album progressed on, the melodic elements really complimented the sound of the album. Every band member showed exactly how dynamic they can be. But at the end, it just felt as though they had ran out of energy, and I can’t ignore the similarity in sound to KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. There’s nothing wrong with taking elements from another band, but they just sounded far too similar. Don’t get me wrong, the album sounded great very well put together and some of those guitar riffs were insane. I just found it lacking the raw power it started with. This is a terrible shame, because if they finished the album with the energy they started with, it would have been great.
2.The Vengeance In Me
3.Vanquished Unto Thee
4.Divide, Conqur, Burn And Destroy
6.On The Brink Of Devestation
7.Jagged Cross Legions
9.This Endless War
Adam Dutkiewicz – lead & rhythm guitar, bass, backing vocals
George Fisher – lead vocals
Shannon Lucas- drums