Karma Violens – Serpent God

Karma Violens
Serpent God
Released 13th April 2018
Black Metal/Extreme Metal
Released via Growl Records

Karma Violens - Serpent God

Serpent God’ is the third album from the Greek extreme metal band Karma Violens. These guys have been around since 2002 and they have toured with bands such as Judas Priest and Arch Enemy. They initially started out playing metalcore but this album marks a shift in style towards black metal direction with a “gloomy and dark atmosphere” and it is recommended for fans of Emperor, Behemoth, Mayhem and Batushka. That description looks promising, let’s see how it sounds…

This is one of those cases when it’s fairly easy to detect where these guys are from even if I hadn’t read the information about them. Greek black metal has a rather distinctive sound – it tends to be fairly atmospheric and usually has at least some melodic parts. Rotting Christ, Astarte and Naer Mataron are good examples of this style. So Karma Violens are in good company.

There’s more than just a hint of black metal. There’s the slower, gloomy, atmospheric tracks like Serpent God which reminded me of early Mayhem due to the raspy vocal style. Then they occasionally pick up the pace with more aggressive-sounding, faster songs such as The Constractors where the guitars and the pummeling drums really take the reins. A Letter to the Worthless Chamber caught my attention as one of the more memorable songs on here, it’s got this “still creepy but almost catchy” black metal feel to it that made me think of the later works of Immortal mixed with some elements of Naer Mataron.

Overall, I am relieved that this wasn’t metalcore. Karma Violens were clearly aiming to create an atmospheric black metal album, and in that they have succeeded. ‘Serpent God’ isn’t a ‘flawless album’ but it definitely has its moments.

4/5

Iza Raittila

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