Served Dead – Servants Arise

Served Dead
Servants Arise
Due for release/Released: June 2012 (Finland) / July 2012 (Worldwide)
Symphonic Black Metal
Released via Label: Inverse Records

‘Servants Arise’ is the Viking mythology themed debut album from the Finnish black metal band Served Dead.

The aptly named intro ‘The March’ lives up to its name thanks to the symphonic melodies which build up an atmosphere befitting the start of an epic movie. Then it’s straight into the symphonic black metal machine that is ‘The Unholy War’, which enters the frame complete with melodic keyboards and…dare I say it…Chthonic-esque vocals minus the oriental elements but plus hints of mid-career Dimmu Borgir.

‘Oath I’ve Sworn’ has less of the symphonic elements as the focus shifts to the guitar riffs temporarily before a brief return to the melodic keyboards. It also features surprisingly skilfully executed clear vocals which, for once, fit the song followed by more Dimmu Borgir -style symphonic black metal. Then there’s the ferocious-sounding ‘Retaliation’ which combines the wailing guitars with black metal shrieks. There’s even a hint of old Cradle of Filth here in some of the vocal parts, especially on tracks such as ‘The Hammer’.

Other noteworthy tracks include the symphonic keyboard-infused ‘Gospel of Hate’ and the soundtrack-esque ballad that is the title track ‘Servants Arise’.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

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