Serpentine Creation from Sophia (Bulgaria) are one of those bands who know a great deal about songwriting and technical craftsmanship. The band is founded out of members from Desolate and Demonism, two well known bands from the Bulgarian underground. Their sole goal was to create melodic black metal and follow their own path. Although they perfectly fit in the modern day satanic black metal scene, they do have a sound of their own, incorporating elements from a variety of metal styles.
Some of the songs on this album reach a very high level. 'The Devastated Heavens', for example, is a classic piece of extreme metal which easily comes close to bands like Immortal or Old Man's Child, but seemingly without keyboards. In fact, another band I'm often reminded of, is Metallica. In some of the riffs and solos I clearly hear influences from the (fallen?) gods of metal. 'The Massacre In God's Kingdom' issues several of them and somehow becomes one of my favorites on this album.
Another huge keyword is 'variation'. Serpentine Creation effortlessly alternates slow, subdued passages with blast beats driven insanity or powerful mid-tempo riffs, usually within the timespan of only one song. This way the album becomes highly enjoyable and remains that way for the entire duration, something black metal often fails to do. The sense of epicness, if that is a word, is also very present on this album. The music has a atmosphere of war and victory in stead of the usual ultra-bleakness.
Now I've been hammering on keyboards a few times in this review and I'll tell you why. When I was a young, stubborn metalhead, I despised those things. Don't ask me why, I think it was because every young, stubborn metalhead hated keyboards in those days. Eventually I've gotten over that and I don't mind them being used today. Hell, as far as I'm concerned you can make decent music with accordeon and banjo. However, not using them forces the band in finding other ways to make their music interesting. Serpentine Creation does that with an impressive variety malignant riffs and pounding drums.
I will leave now with my absolute favorite on this album, 'The Tears Of God'. This mid-tempo song surely has the power to make the almighy one weep, much to the delight of the dark lord, worshipped by this highly talented quartet. If I may give you a recommendation to end this writing: look beyond the mainstream of black metal (yes, there is a black metal mainstream) and you will find gems like this one. Or you can just get your hands on a copy of this one of course, since it is one of the top releases in 2015 as far as black metal is concerned.