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Yeah, we all know the story of Dimmu Borgir and their past/present situations, so I'm not going to go through a history lesson or a breakdown of that. Focusing on the single of the first song on their most recent album, In Sorte Diaboli, The Serpentine Offering is the best or tied for the best song on the album – which isn’t saying too much considering the rest of the songs are rather bland or generic; with the exception of the kickass The Sacriliegious Scorn. This song starts with some exceptional black metal/Middle Eastern stylized orchestration that I admit is quite fucking awesome, very epic and bold way to start the song off. It shortly leads into a riff that is quite fun to headbang to and solid drumming from the legendary Hellhammer. Throughout the song, the drumming is prominent in the way that Hellhammer is always present in every album he works on which is a good thing.
The song swiftly creeps along with the same riff and the orchestration in the background making this even more badass, Hellhammer proves to be worthy and the guitars seem to be adequate and proving of making some form of attempt at capturing the ears of the listener and make you headbang, but not stepping over into extraordinary. Shagrath steps in a third way into the song and performs well, probably most black metal elitists won’t enjoy his approach but I rather enjoy it enough. He is easy to understand and there are several parts in the song like the chorus that are easy and fun to sing along to, the only downside is that he gets rather raspy and annoying and sounds like he’s croaking.
“My descent is the story of every man! I am Hatred, Darkness, and Despair!”
The best part of this song though is the clean vocals sung in by ICS Vortex. Holy hell he has quite a voice… I wish he would be used more often, he has this small passage in the middle of the song that makes this so much better. He’s almost divine with his powerful set of pipes, I’m glad Dimmu Borgir added this.
Overall I think the song is fun to listen to, sing a long and headbang but only if the rest of In Sorte Diaboli had sounded like this. I recommend people to check out this song if they are interested in a symphonic black metal song with a nice addition of clean vocals if you have an open mind that is. If only the rest of the album sounded like this single.