Written by Carcassbomb
- Holy Serpent
- Stoner Doom/Shoegaze/Alt Rock
- Melbourne, Australia
- October 18, 2019
Endless is straight up ‘the shit’, that’s the most important fact of this review. It’s an album that has made me swoon like few others this year and it’s not exactly that metal or heavy. It is however, perfectly suited to the current climate of stoner rock and doom, bringing something quite zesty and refreshing, a fusion of fuzz, alt rock and doom rock. I’m hearing influences from Type O Negative and My Bloody Valentine, it’s super inspired and engorged with energy despite the doomy tempo. They nailed it musically and in terms of doom aesthetic – something Australia has been refining for some time now.
The key element that ties all of these wormy riffs and hook riddled vocals together is the mixing which places everything well, the guitars bringing the fuzz are further back than the vocals which mingle with the persistent but playful drumming. None of it feels like showboating or overproduced, it’s just a raw collection of vibes and it sounds like we’re hearing this shit through a fever dream. Speaking of dreams this album has joined an exclusive list of albums that I play purely for relaxation, sleep or study. It’s the kind of album that I can trust every corner of, and it can carry me away every time no matter how restless I am. The list resident is Terminal (2018) by Bongripper, so it’s in great company, both being what I’d consider the best stoner/doom album of their respective years.
The vocals generally sound like they’re filtered through some mic effect but it’s still organic enough to resonate emotionally, it’s a profound middle ground between voice and effect that few bands are able to pull off. It works with the high amount of bass present, making it feel as though the voices could be washed away or drowned at any moment. It’s hard to highlight anything specifically because it all worked harmoniously towards a single vision. The choice of album art, which is an iconic Australian image, is the bow on top that. It’s solid right through the middle.
“Hourglass” is a powerful ending track with dual vocal performances that overlap pleasantly. It’s an epic sound that shows no sign of energy loss over the course of the album. The band paced themselves and executed a well crafted chunk of music. It’s a unique album even compared to all of the stellar stoner releases this year, many bands twisted the formula and added bells and whistles, but Holy Serpent have produced an album that sounds as though only they could have made it, and made it here.
I expect this album to charm almost anyone musically inclined, metal or not. The alt rock and shoegaze aspects of the album carry merit of their own rather than simply being an addition. This will be one of the few albums memorable enough to carry with me well beyond the years end.