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The Serpent's Return - 91%

CosmicCult, April 6th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Nebular Winter Productions (Limited edition)

One year after their debut album, the guys from Lamia return with another infamous work. "Inhuman Minimalism" is yet another ode to nihilism and misanthropy that pierces the barriers of morality and human nature.

Right from the first song you can clearly see that the style regarding "The Gradual Immersion in Nihilism" is completely untouched. A lot of fast-paced riffs resembling the old school style with the introduction of melodic parts and grim yet atmospheric sound effects such as whispers or sounds. The vocals are raw and sharp, with several register variations like deep growls. The drums are very straightforward and drilling, full of blast beats.

The songwriting is very clever. Misanthropy and hate towards religion is their main theme and also the cornerstone of their music in a way that the band itself describes its position as ideological instead of musical. The production has been improved in comparison to their preceding album; maybe less clean, but the result is better because it creates that sense of decay present along the 32 minutes.

The songs are even shorter this time but again, if longer, that level of intensity and rawness would be overwhelming. There are nine high quality tracks but, having to pick some, I would stress "The World in Coffins" and "The Lament". The first one is Human Serpent’s magnum opus; it completely captures the band’s essence in four minutes; sharp and fast riffs with tempo changes, different vocal registers, quick drumming and sick atmosphere. The second one is completely the opposite in terms of tempo; with very melodic yet sad/depressing riffs, heavy drumming and a lot of cold atmosphere. Special mention to "Mother of Depression" for its extremely bleak outro.

Although I still prefer "The Gradual Immersion in Nihilism" over this, "Inhuman Minimalism" is mind boggling stuff by Human Serpent; raw, fast, atmospheric, heretic and infamous. Really looking forward to their next full-length.

Nihilistic Minimalism - 92%

TheStormIRide, September 21st, 2015

Following their well received The Eternal Loyalty to Misanthropy demo in 2013 and rather highly praised debut album The Gradual Immersion in Nihilism in 2014, Greek duo Human Serpent dropped their sophomore full length album, Inhumane Minimalism, in the summer of 2015. With two splits under their belts in addition to the previously mentioned material, the band is quickly becoming one of the country’s most prolific black metal projects. The duo of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist X. and drummer I. continue their approach of stripped down black metal with just a hint of theatrical aspects of the Hellenic scene.

While the latest effort sees the band continuing in a similar vein as the previous efforts, Inhumane Minimalism offers more nuanced approach. Offering a starker contrast between moments of acerbic, blasting percussion and trance inducing cyclical trem riffing and moments of notorious, darkened atmospherics and slowed down pulsing. The production is much cleaner this time around, focusing on a rather warm guitar tone that highlights the melodic patterns of scaled trem riffs without taking away from the colder, barren sound of the percussion and bass. Tracks like “Bottomless Fall” approach the sound with a mix of the pulsing Hellenic sound of Varathron or Rotting Christ while “Trees of Flesh” focuses on fast paced blasting with a frenetic, cycling trem pattern.

The riffing is sharp and biting, merging well with the rampant double bass runs and fast paced fills and blasts. While Human Serpent manages to sound like a lot of black metal bands of similar styling, their focus on creating hook laden trem riffing with dark, melodic undertones helps them stand apart from the crowd. The care with which the band crafts their songs is apparent, as the entire offering flows smoothly, never sounding forced or unnatural. The vocals, consisting of a deep, raspy bark, are frenetic and full of vile, but remain consistent almost to fault. But even with the singular vocal approach, things steer clear of becoming stale.

Despite Human Serpent seemingly coming from nowhere in the last two years, their music displays a maturity not often witnessed in black metal bands of a similar style. Despite being raw and chaotic, the band brings an extreme level of professionalism to their nihilistic black metal. Channeling the likes of Mgła and Sargeist and inserting just a dash of Rotting Christ and Varathon, Human Serpent are a breath of fresh air. It will be interesting to see if the band is able to keep their pace and power over the years, but it has been an extremely strong two years for this duo.

Written for The Metal Observer.

Ceremony Of Perdition - 96%

_Agony_and_Pain_, August 22nd, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Nebular Winter Productions (Limited edition)

Human Serpent is a Greek black metal band that created the foundations of their own individual personality merely 2 years ago, with the release of their "The Eternal Loyalty To Misanthropy" demo. Since then, they unrelentingly continue to create primitive, aggressive, violent, misanthropic black metal where decadence and decay have their own special place in (as they do in the covers and artworks of all of their releases).

Their second full-length is titled "Inhumane Minimalism" and it arrived just 1 year after the release of their highly acclaimed full-length "The Gradual Immersion In Nihilism". Although one may think that a year is rather a short period of time for a band to get better or get enough inspiration in order to provide their audience with something new and interesting, this thought gets completely destroyed upon listening to the "Inhumane Minimalism" full-length. It is easily understandable that, creative-wise, it stands taller than its predecessor. It also stands taller as far as the production, the atmosphere and-mainly-the character is concerned.

The band once again combines the feelings of enmity, anger, aggression with those of melancholy, nihilism and anguish and in doing so they create a unique atmosphere. This is made evident to anyone upon hearing "Messiah For Parasites". I am pretty sure that its closing riff will stay in your mind for a lot more hours to come. In addition, this unique emotional and musical atmosphere is so captivating and straightforward that gets you hooked on it right from the get go. I was blown away just by the starting tunes of "The World In Coffins" in the playlist. At that point I knew that I was about to embark on another musical journey that consisted of strong feelings of negativity and ingenious songwriting. I listened to it 12 consecutive times until I moved on to the second track. It most probably is the most riveting track of an extremely riveting album.

The straightforwardness of the "Inhumane Minimalism" is highlighted by the tracks "Trees Of Flesh", "Starving Void Upon Earth" and "Decay". They form a trio of utterly in-your-face tracks, three tracks with lyrical themes of absolute nihilism and hatred. It feels like each track molds an individual story yet at the very same time, I feel that their content and atmosphere pieces them together in a solid unit. Aggressive, violent, smart guitar riffing and excellent drumming combine in high-speed to create an atmosphere of extreme destruction.

At this point, I would like to point out that I feel that the tracks "Bottomless Fall" and "The Lament" are "surprise" tracks in the "Inhumane Minimalism" album. That is primarily because they have a momentum of their own; in the frame of the nihilistic lyrics that environs them. The slow tempo of these two, greatly influenced by the Polish black metal scene, tracks provides a different, special tone of nostalgia, grief and sadness. Moreover, the placement of these two tracks, their combination with "Funeral Grimness" and "Mother Of Depression" and the fact that these four tracks share the same emotional atmosphere exponentially strengthens the feelings of excitement and emotional alertness that the previous tracks created.

I chose to comment on the vocals and the lyrics last, as a whole both have ascended on a great amount of levels. The vocals combine hatred, pain and power made of steel, especially in the parts that feature long screams. One of the things I really like is when black metal bands use their native language in their lyrics. It doesn't matter to me whether the lyrics feature a combination of the native language and English or whether they feature solely the native language. The very fact that they use their native language in some form provides an additional and deeper layer of expression, in my opinion.

Overall, Human Serpent with the "Inhumane Minimalism" album make the next step into shaping a character of their own that consolidates them further more into the black metal scene. That is mainly because they are able to use their influence from the Greek, Polish and Finnish black metal scenes in a special way that isn't just plain plagiarism. If you are a fan of the oldschool black metal, but at the same time want to hear something new be sure to check them out. They are here to stay!!