Obscure and enigmatic, this impressive Blackened Death Metal band from Russia will break into your psyche and give you a unique sense of freedom with their thunderous music.
Let me start by telling you how different this review is going to be, as for the first time ever I have absolutely no idea who the band members are for the band in question, Russian Blackened Death Metal entity Sarpentra, and according to different sources I’ve been in contact with they’re keeping their names in secret on purpose. The band itself states that Sarpentra are “more than a group of people who play music. It is an idea, symbiosis of spirit, music and mind, compounded in a single organism, which creates its own fate.” With that said, I guess the best option in this case is simply absorbing and enjoying their music without worrying about who’s playing it, don’t you agree?
And what Sarpentra have to offer us in their debut full-length album, entitled Supernova, definitely makes up for that lack of information on the band members. The entire album presents an incredible mix of extreme aggression and mystical instrumentation, following a similar music pattern from icons such as Nile and Behemoth, or as the band likes to say, it’s “an eleven-tracked hymn to domination of mind above stagnation, bigotry and imitation of life and freedom.” And in case you still don’t get it, just hit play and you’ll be taken into a music journey full of orchestrations, choirs, beautiful guitars and devastating drums that will make your metallic head spin around like a violent whirlwind.
Right after the quick sinister intro Archaios Ophios (Initiation), Sarpentra’s brutal and technical Death Metal comes crashing like a thunder storm in Iron Nails Run In, a modernized version of extreme music intensified by the addition of symphonic elements, where its Black Metal blast beats and evil progressiveness are truly outstanding. In the pure Blackened Death Metal tune Splendor Solis, the guttural vocals sound vile and ruthless in contrast to the eerie ambience generated by synths and backing vocals, with its guitar solos providing a good balance amidst all the sonic devastation; while the supernatural intro and Middle-Eastern guitar scale in the excellent Sempiternal transport the listener to a hopeless and deserted land. It’s a flawless blend of old school Death Metal and Symphonic Black Metal, reminding me of some classics by Behemoth due to its blackened vocals and intricate guitar riffs and solos.
The boisterous Odium (The Temple of the Sacred False) is a short and skilful exhibit of extreme music, an evil old school Death Metal song with demonic vociferations more than perfect for fans of Extreme Metal, followed by the imposing symphonic instrumental track V.V.V.V.V., or “vi veri veniversum vivus vici” (a Latin phrase meaning “by the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe”), and the amazing I Set the World on Fire, where its drums are absolutely on fire while its vocals are bursting with anger. Complex and electrifying, in special its razing guitar lines, this is the next step in the expedition to the deranged land created by this extremely sharp and talented band.
The War Anthem doesn’t have “war” in its name in vain: it’s yet another inhuman tune where it’s quite clear they’re trying to blacken their Progressive Death/Black Metal as much as possible. Furthermore, those guys love shredding and delivering fast guitar solos more than their own lives without a shadow of a doubt. Then we have the title-track, Supernova, where you can feel the solar power present in the album art through their mix of Death, Black, Symphonic and even Progressive Metal, a feast for music lovers. In addition, there’s something primeval and mysterious in this song that makes it so interesting it’s hard to describe, you have to listen to it carefully to understand what I’m trying to say.
Anyway, Omnia Vincam (Latin for “I will conquer all”) is an eerie instrumental track impregnated with occult voices that opens the gates for the most epic song of the album, Prometheus Unbound, where its energy and intensity provide the listener the ultimate journey to Sarpendra’s godforsaken land. Showcasing a very cohesive and majestic instrumental from start to finish, all orchestrations and backing vocals perfectly support the depiction of an ancient civilization worshiping the demigod Prometheus, finally unleashed from his burdensome chains.
There are infinite ways to get in touch with Sarpentra and know more about their elaborate music, such as their official Facebook page, VKontakte and YouTube channel, and you can buy the striking Supernova at the band’s Big Cartel, Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. It doesn’t matter how enigmatic and obscure Sarpentra are, their music is all that’s needed for a unique experience of mind and soul, breaking into your psyche and giving you a sense of freedom in a way only sumptuous heavy music is capable of doing.
Best moments of the album: Iron Nails Run In, Sempiternal and Prometheus Unbound.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2015 Independent
1. Archaios Ophios (Initiation) 0:20
2. Iron Nails Run In 4:34
3. Splendor Solis 3:04
4. Sempiternal 5:36
5. Odium (The Temple of the Sacred False) 2:58
6. V.V.V.V.V. 2:23
7. I Set the World on Fire 4:13
8. The War Anthem 3:11
9. Supernova 5:10
10. Omnia Vincam 2:02
11. Prometheus Unbound 7:17
*Information not available*