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Misanthropic Onslaught - 93%

CosmicCult, April 5th, 2017

Hailing from the Hellenic hordes, Human Serpent raises as one of the standards of the current Greek black metal scene. With a very marked style, the mysterious duo displays a cold, hostile and aggressive music, with influences from the first and second wave of the subgenre.

"The Gradual Immersion in Nihilism" is their first full length (after a demo and a split album). It is the personification of hate. Just give a glance to that bone-chilling grim cover and you will instantly be able to get a draft idea of what the album is going to be about. Right from the first song, you get a relentless sense of rawness coming from the sharp riffs, blasting drums and the harsh vocals. This dynamic is held all along the 35 minutes, not giving any shadow of mercy to the listener’s ears except for some atmospheric sections.

The songwriting is brilliant, I and X possess very marked ideals, and they have clearly stuck to their guns while materializing them into paper. The lyrics are very straightforward and concise; giving off pure animosity and malevolence towards humanity. The melodies are mainly fast, with sharp guitar riffs and blast beats, but there are a few pace changes as well. Those mentioned tempo alterations can be either instrumental; like in the mid part of “The Untrodden Paths” or atmospheric, with the addition of some background effects emulating a religious mass or Gregorian chants (final parts of "I Am a Misanthrope" and "Chapel of Bones").

The vocal work is one of the strongest points of this album. The registers are very wide, from deep "close to death metal" growls to abrasive yet rasping screams. The production is also well achieved, capturing the style essence and contributing even more to the chaos.

The songs’ duration is perfect, with an average of 4 minutes (if not less); which may seem a little bit short; but the music is so intense that more length would have been overwhelming. If I had to pick my favorites, I would choose "The Untrodden Paths" and "Chapel of Bones" as the standouts; both have that mentioned pace changes, making them the most complete ones of the eight. The first covers the entire voice spectrum, and has a very dark yet sinister mid part; the second one has an outstanding 4 minutes outro, with Latin chants that sound quite heretic and a very sober bass solo.

"The Gradual Immersion in Nihilism" is an ode to misanthropy; an immersion to the dark side of human hate and an outstanding debut album. Hail the Serpent!

Immersed in the Waters of Nihilism - 91%

TheStormIRide, November 17th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Death Knell Productions (Digipak)

Human Serpent burst into the black metal scene in 2013 with their four track demo, The Eternal Loyalty to Misanthropy. Continuing to perform as a duo, the enigmatically named X. and I. joined forces once again to unleash their debut full length album, The Gradual Immersion in Nihilism. The band’s demo was noted for its intriguing combination of cold second wave black metal and the adroit theatrics of the Greek black metal scene. While the band’s full length continues this amalgamation of classic influences, the stronger production and increased focus on songwriting show a band that has matured considerably in the short time between releases.

Perhaps the transition into a full length allowed Human Serpent to tweak their sound in just enough places to begin crafting their own uniqueness. The band’s influences may have been emulated to death and back, but there is not an onslaught of bands tempting this fierce combination of moody theatrics, stark melody and frosty, windswept black metal. The album’s opener, “I Am a Misanthrope”, and sections of “Human Serpent” shows the band weaving the flowing sounds Greek black metal, a la Rotting Christ or Zemial, with a briskly cold atmosphere featuring blasting drums and pacing trem riffing. While these traces of melody run deep within the fast paced trem picking, some utterly violent moments glide in, like the middle of “Grief” with its controlled blasts or the thick and menacing “The Untrodden Path” which steams into a plateau of fiery riffs and uncontrolled double bass runs. The vocals are dripping with anger, sounding like a hollow growl mixed with an anguished rasp, fitting the band’s caustic approach.

While the whole of The Gradual Immersion in Nihilism opts for an immersive, encompassing listen, it’s the more atmospheric moments that speak volumes about what the band seems to attempting. The title track displays this with its writhing and dissonant melodies climbing towards some barely perceivable light while the blackness continually pulls the opposite direction. The production retains those classic vibes that were so evident on the demo, but, this around, the guitars and vocals sound more full, more bitter. The Gradual Immersion in Nihilism seems to be one of those rare cases of a band proudly displaying their influences yet still grasping that sound by the throat and making it their own.

The future seems bright for Human Serpent, as The Gradual Immersion in Nihilism should firmly mark the band as one of Greece’s strongest black metal acts to emerge in quite some time. The band initiates a sound of their own by blending the styles of Norway and Greece into an amalgamous form of writhing black metal. Those who enjoy the sweeping nature of Sargeist or Mgla, the extreme theatrics of early Rotting Christ and the cold atmospheres of Darkthrone should look no further for their next fix of blackened metal.

Written for The Metal Observer.

Ancient Apocalypse - 91%

Olmomaster, November 4th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, Cassette, Nebular Winter Productions (Limited edition)

Human Serpent are a new act from Greece (consisting of two guys who call themselves I. and X.), which self-released the demo-MCD The Eternal Loyalty To Misanthropy last year. One of the tracks from that demonstrational recording made it to the Spiritual Flesh Around The Cycles Of Inexistence sampler, a tape released via Abyssic Black Cult Records with six Greek bands, amongst whom, as you can guess, Human Serpent. In early 2014, the duo recorded new material at the Kissing The Beast Studio, and everything was produced, mixed, engineered and mastered by K. Filip. Nebular Winter Productions, who take care of the release on tape (until now, but I guess it will stay this way, they release stuff on cassette only), did send us the promotional copy of this stuff, but there’s a CD-edition too, done via Death Knell Productions.

The Gradual Immersion In Nihilism (eight tracks; four on each side of the tape-edition, with a total running time of thirty five minutes) brings a minimalistic, nihilistic and grim form of black metal, pretty fast and lacking of any trendy or catchy addition. The riffs are based on epic melody lines, supported by a fantastic rhythm section (wonderful basses and great drums; the latter being fast and artillery-alike, then again pounding and interactive). The vocals are of a mostly sulphuric, deep-throated excellence, little guttural and deadly in execution. A thing that distinguishes this band from the vast majority are the fabulous bass lines at the end of Chapel Of Bones, or the addition of hypnotic Gregorian chants in the opening track I Am A Misanthrope (hey, did you write this track expressly for me, guys?); not that unique for more bands use this, but truly fitting in Human Serpent’s case. The mood does vary, without abnegating the anti-human spirit. Most tracks are fast and aggressive (All return To Nothing, with its unstoppable energy and truly splendid slow-paced intermezzo; or misanthropic manifesto Anti-Human Propaganda), others are pretty glorious and epic (Grief amongst others), and sometimes you will experience (with pleasure!) a doomy approach (cf. The Untrodden Paths), invigorating the asphyxiating atmosphere.

The production is little primitive and rough, which strengthens the old styled attitude of these misanthropic hymns. The lack of fake clinical workmanship is done very decently (hehe, let’s muck up cleanness and correctitude), and what’s more, it supports the dynamic pieces with grandeur! Take the higher-mentioned song Grief, for instance, and then you’ll understand this statement. Though, the unpolished sound is a statement itself. And it’s the purest statement that defines why I adore this kind of aural art so intensively!

When the Purity Are Wrapped in Nihilism - 93%

ReekShit, July 20th, 2014

Since many regard the vast majority of black metal bands as simplistic, I’m finding it difficult to review ''The Gradual Immersion In Nihilism'', the first full-length record from this talented two man band.

From the very first to the very last riff, it's nothing but a pure joy of nihilistic chants. Chilling guitar riffs (nearly every riff on here defines what one desires in old school black metal), pounding drums, vicious raw vocals and hateful atmosphere. Just above this behemoth of a bass sound are the treble guitar riffs which often move off into different spectrums from the bass. The drumming is organic, fast, and thick sounding.

In tracks like "I Am A Misanthrope", "Human Serpent", "The Gradual immersion In Nihilism" you can actually see the hatred crawl out of your speakers, and feel them infecting your mind. If you want your music primitive, raw, vicious and evil then ''Anti-Human Propaganda'' and ''All Return To Nothing'' are for you, and ''The Untrodden Paths'' is the shotgun in your throat. So simple. "Chapel of Bones'' is also a pure masterpiece. The perfect production, the fantastic artwork, the otherworldly vocals, it all works together in perfect harmony of their manifesto of antihumanity, which feels like the wrong word to use here, but you know what I mean.

Human Serpent is a new plague to be unleashed on mankind, ''The Gradual Immersion In Nihilism'' is a killer black metal full-length and I have no doubt that with such musical atmosphere it has fully gained my personal status. It's going to be stuck in your music player for days.

Black Metal Holocaust from Greece - 96%

_Agony_and_Pain_, June 10th, 2014

I was extremely glad when the band agreed on my making one of their first reviews on their debut full-length before the official release date. I would like to thank them for providing me a folder with all the tracks and the full-artwork. I can easily detect the audiovisual perfection of this release (the ones amongst you who will choose to purchase this full-length you are going to understand exactly what I mean as soon as you take a glimpse at the artwork).

As the first notes of "The Gradual Immersion In Nihilism" reach my ear I can easily understand that Human Serpent, in this very release, follow the same paths of pure extreme aggression that their Demo created. It is evident by the dynamic and raw guitar riffing as well as smart drumming (it is conspicuous that a lot of hard work has been done regarding the drumming), amazing vocals and the raw yet excellent coherence of their music and the samples that the very first track of the full-length, "I Am A Misanthrope" features.

While I continue this enjoyable listening session it is made clear to me that this release manages to create the atmosphere of sheer hatred and aggression as well as that of unrefined feelings of melancholy and high-standard quality of feelings such as sadness and nihilism. Tracks as "Human Serpent" (which is the worthiest of bearing the name of the band) and "Anti-Human Propaganda", with the perfection and dynamic of the vocals being combined with simple, yet beautiful, guitar and bass riffing and talented drumming create a solid old-school, in-your-face musical result that is bound to stay in your mind, while "The Untrodden Paths" with its "bridge-like" role "alleviates" the listener from the torrential precedent tracks.

At this point I would like to mention that even though this release follows a track that has been set some several months ago, with the "The Eternal Loyalty To Misanthropy" demo, the band in this full-length create some new chapters as well and introduce the listener to a whole new kind of atmosphere. This release features both English and Greek lyrics that combine perfectly with one another and with the music as well. Huge examples of this statement are "Grief" that consists of melodies of older times that are easily stuck in your mind, especially the closing guitar riff is one of the many highlights of this full-length and the monumental "The Gradual Immersion In Nihilism", that without effort, reaches the listener's psyche. It is literally an orgasm for one's ear. The change that this track features is more than excellent, it storms your ears when you least expect it and creates the atmosphere the band aims to create in two and a half minutes of pure musical awesomeness influenced by the Finnish and Greek black metal scenes.

Human Serpent, as a Greek band, surely do honor the Greek black metal tradition, "All Return To Nothing" and "Chapel Of Bones" are two tracks that interlock with each other and form a armed legion of great songwriting. They are a conclusion that you will have in mind for hours to come. There are also some Greek lyrics that I can hear and I hope that the band will make them known to their audience. I would also like to underline that, after the last track is over there is a bass melody that I listened to more that 4 times straight, it is completely addictive.

In conclusion, in my opinion, this full-length release features one of the finest pieces of black metal from the beginning until the very end. The production of "The Gradual Immersion In Nihilism" is completely professional and it is the only one that would bring the most out of the beautiful and dynamic musical melodies that the band provides. Human Serpent is a mature and smart band, a band full of ideas. They respect their ideological beliefs. The "manifesto" that the booklet of the full-length features is more than realistic as is the train of thought that is present throughout this release. Human Serpent are not afraid to speak their mind and they surely do not try to flatter anyone.

Human Serpent's sound may not be groundbreaking but no-one can deny the fact that they are "different" and that they "annexed" a black metal sound that is here to stay (I wonder if there would be anyone not touched by the aura their music emits should they perform live). It is a real honor for the Greek black metal fans to have this band present in the black metal scene. Check them out because there is nothing that they lack compared with any Scandinavian band.