Today we have the privilege of sharing an early stream of ‘Allegiance to the Myth‘ the second full-length album from Norfolk, Virginia-based black metal band SERPENTSHRINE which releases this coming Friday, April 22nd on Compact Disc, and Digitally by way of venerable underground black metal label Signal Rex.
Steeped in the spiritus of the ancient ways yet featuring their own aggrandizing sense of self in the present, this second full-length from this trio of Satanic black metal devotees naturally grips and crushes a higher standard with the fervor of retaliation, as any sophomore release should. A more practiced and harder-channeled presence illuminates the cold scenes at hand with a much more capable whirling of the black flame, inspiration and purpose drive these songs toward what I’d consider a classically USBM sort of mannerism, various points of worldly inspiration resourced into a riveting, rightfully anti-Christian ideal. These fellowes have been kind enough to answer a few questions as we seek to better envision what inspires ‘Allegiance to the Myth‘ and their pressing forth toward greater singularity. An short interview follows with a full stream of the album down below.
Thanks goes out to the artist, their representation and Signal Rex for the opportunity to share this fine album with the masses. Scroll down to the Bandcamp embed below to experience the whole thing, as always do your best to support the global black metal underground and grab a physical copy from Signal Rex‘ Bandcamp or website.
The first thing I’d noticed in approach of ‘Allegiance to the Myth’ was your collective enthusiasm for second wave black metal, as is stated up front, yet you’ve not forced it entirely “by the book” with various guitar techniques and song structures that range from classic to somewhat modern. Has reigning in, or, channeling that enthusiasm for a variety of influences into singular focus been a challenge?
We want songs to ebb and flow with intensity. We never want them to be constantly fast and powerful or repetitiously slow and atmospheric. The drastic changes between these two mediums and striking a balance between them can be difficult but it leads to more dynamic and unique songs. We want the listener to be sucked into the music and not necessarily know what is coming next. With the three of us writing as a unit, this has proven to be a powerful tool as each of us brings something unique to the table to entwine our influences and writing styles effectively into one cohesive song.
What was your major goal set beyond the release of ‘Besetting the Altar’ / ‘Occultum Exordium’? Should we consider this second album a direct follow-up to previous works in terms of sound and style? I would suggest that “bigger and better” won’t necessarily cover the sort of ramping up of artistic voice here.
Our art is made to praise Satan, and that’s it. So as far as major goal sets, its just spreading the word of the Serpent to those whose minds are open to listen to it. We would definitely consider ‘Allegiance to the Myth’ a direct follow-up to our previous works. Its our next step as we have evolved as musicians and as a band together, artistically and spiritually.
What initially inspired Serpentshrine to form? Are there any particular points of inspiration (musical or otherwise) which you’d all hail that’d given the band its extra kick into form? Was it a matter of shared interests in black metal, or, have your tastes evolved together as a band over time?
Serpentshrine initially formed as a joint interest in black metal, death metal, and the desire to create a project which exemplified our Luciferian beliefs and hatred of Christianity. That being said, our interests and musical tastes have definitely developed over time as we have delved deeper into underground artists. These influences have affected our sound as we are not trying to sound any particular way or any particular style. What you hear is our natural evolution.
Are there any idyllic examples of second wave black metal that’d been inspiringly full-ranged, or broad in scope when writing this second album specifically? I’d personally heard a bit of ‘Svartalheim’ and ‘Antichrist’ on certain pieces but I imagine there are more than a few albums serving your ideal vision.
There are too many examples of albums that have inspired us when writing ‘Allegiance to the Myth’. Examples are bands such as Urgehal, Darkened Nocturne Slaughtercult, Inquisition, Tsjuder, Satanic Warmaster, Craft, Gorgoroth… the list goes on and on. Inspiration is important but we want to do blaze our own path. Those bands and their influences are important but we want to add our own subjection to music.
Does any specific Satanic belief or similar personal philosophy inform the lyrics of ‘Allegiance to the Myth’? The notion of serpent worship in song titles (and the band name) is admittedly universal in human culture but I’m curious of your lyrical themes are at all inspired by the Ophiolatreia?
There were a few beliefs that went into writing the lyrics for this album and the others. It starts with a hatred of the Christian church, organized religion, and god. We find ourselves turning to snake in the garden, our accuser, and the angel of night when we find ourselves in the dark. So to answer your question, no its not inspired by the Ophiolatreia, but an homage to the true morningstar, Lucifer.
As pandemic illness recedes from public view do you have any plans to tour, or any gigs set up this year? Is the live setting an important part of Serpentshrine’s presence and larger goals?
Yes, we do have gigs set up and are very open and willing to tour. The live setting is a huge part of our presence. We see our live shows as an active worship to Satan where we can actively spread his word and the name of the Serpent to more indoctrinated individuals.
What is the best way that fans can support Serpentshrine?
The best things fans can do to support us is to spread our music around and get our name out there. Bandcamp is where they can either share ‘Allegiance to the Myth’ or buy a copy of it for themselves.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you for the opportunity today. Be the black flame in the indoctrination of the world. Hail the Serpent!
Per the press release:
SIGNAL REX is proud to present SERPENTSHRINE’s highly anticipated second album, Allegiance to the Myth, on digipack CD format.
Formed in 2015 and hailing from the United States, SERPENTSHRINE are a black metal power-trio literally out of time. Theirs is a sound that proudly and authentically heralds the ancient ways of the 1990s. Raw and rabid but not without a certain nightsky majesty to their blitzed attack, SERPENTSHRINE are poised to elevate themselves out of self-imposed obscurity with the release of their second full-length, Allegiance to the Myth.
Indeed accurately titled, Allegiance to the Myth recalls trace elements of a grand host of noble influences: from prime Throne of Ahaz and Thy Primordial to equally debut-era Ancient and Enthroned, from Malicious-era Gorgoroth and earliest Immortal to old Primigenium and Isvind, SERPENTSHRINE transport the listener to forgotten realms and glorious times. However, such foundational stones would be for naught if it weren’t for the trio’s skillful songwriting and impassioned execution – the former spanning speed and swirl with deftness and nuance, the latter emitting an otherworldly aspect whilst retaining tangible physicality – altogether making Allegiance to the Myth a record that could be respectably placed within such an archaic timeline.
The way forward is to reject modernity: SERPENTSHRINE hereby swear Allegiance to the Myth.
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