Serperus is a 5-piece metal band from the UK that has recently unleashed a new EP entitled “The Sermon”. Admittedly this one does fall outside my comfort zone, so there won’t be a lot of specific comparisons to other bands, but in general, the band plays a groovy traditional heavy metal sound that is rife with modern influences. Pantera springs to mind as one band that likely inspired this release. Not only are there a lot of groove riffs, but in general, “The Sermon” has a bit of that tough guy sound. This is perpetuated by the band’s vocalist, who alternates between simply yelling and injecting a bit more melody into his lines. He isn’t an inherently bad singer, but the way the package comes together is definitely off-putting to anyone raised on metal from the 80s.
It isn’t all doom and gloom for Serperus, however. If you traverse through the first couple of songs, you’ll be rewarded by the two latter (and superior) tracks. “House of the Fallen” is easily the best song on the album, due in large part to the fact that it is the fastest and thrashiest song. Speed is always effective, and Serperus proves that is true, even when their general sound isn’t something that is particularly appealing to me. It also helps that the drums use more of a thrash/punk beat at times, rather than the spacier beats that are more common on the rest of the EP (though they definitely infect this track as well). The final song, “Cosmic Sermon”, is interesting because it shows the band utilizing some semi-technical riffs that are much more complex than any of the other riffs on the album.
Given that the band has shown some potential, this naturally raises the question of how to improve this release. While there are any number of valid ways to do it, most of them would require a fundamental shift away from what Serperus clearly desires to be. Eliminating the groove, upping the speed, and ditching the band’s vocalist would be my most immediate recommendations. Certainly the band is capable of much more from a technical proficiency standpoint, as evidenced by the solo in “Godking”, but clearly they’ve settled on this sound. Ultimately, while “The Sermon” has its moments, it is more likely to appeal to a modern crowd than an old-school one.
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"House of the Fallen"
3.2/5 or 64%.
Written by Scott