Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2023
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

Sobre Nocturne > Serpentine Dreamweaver > Reviews > BLauritson
Sobre Nocturne - Serpentine Dreamweaver

A Quirky Effort - 80%

BLauritson, September 18th, 2023
Written based on this version: 1999, CD, Loud 'n' Proud

Serpentine Dreamweaver is one of those albums which took me several runs of listening through to really get a feel for it. We have a mixture of spoken word, clean singing, death growls and choirs throughout and the vast majority of the songs are themed around Atlantis and Egyptian mythology, as well as general themes of occultism and spiritual empowerment. It’s perhaps no surprise then that one of their singers, Katarina Lilja, would go on to sing with Therion during their Gothic Kabbalah era.

The music on this album is a mixture of straightforward metal, symphonic arrangements and lengthy keyboard solos. Every track has its own distinct sound and many of them break away from the typical verse-chorus formula, instead showing a great deal of variation and creativity in the writing and song structure.

The intro song is arguably the most quirky of the lot. Opening with a strange yet melodic buzzing sound, we are soon met with a spoken word introduction over a keyboard backing before the guitars enter the scene to assert their presence and take over for the rest of the track. While the unusual structure of the song takes some getting used to, the opening track essentially offers a taste of what the rest of the album has to offer. While the balance of metal vs symphonic elements varies between the tracks, everything you can expect from the rest of the album can be heard somewhere in this opening.

The stand-out track for me is I.A.O. It wastes no time on introductory melodies, instead opening straight away with crunchy rhythm guitars, melodic leads and clean baritone vocals on a song that appears to intermingle Egyptian mythology with the occult practice of seeing “beyond the veil” of the reality to which most of us are accustomed from our physical senses. The song maintains this same arrangement for almost all of its running time, save for a minute-long piano solo in the outro, and yet far from becoming stale it has just the right balance of simple, straightforward and pleasant sounds throughout.

The only song I really have anything negative to say about is Rooted. I find the vocals very grating; the singers who do so well on the rest of the album somehow clash on this track, especially during the choruses and the opening hook. The lyrics are also below par and lack cohesion with the themes presented elsewhere on the album. Without this song I would easily rate this album 9/10 overall.

Thankfully the remainder of the songs redeem the quality of this album, especially Seal of the Bleeding Moon with its apocalyptic themes and atmospheric choirs, Crystalizing the Unspoken Truth which blends the symphonic elements nicely with the metal backing and harsh vocals, and Serpentine Dreamweaver which has a dark and eerie sound that complements its occult lyrical themes.

All in all, Serpentine Dreamweaver is a decent album to listen to in spite of the one song which I cannot bear the sound of (Rooted). The vocalists are all excellent in their respective styles and the blend of straightforward metal and symphonic elements throughout this album make for a listening experience that really is unique to this album. If you enjoy the likes of Therion, Nightwish, Kamelot or Epica then while this album might not be produced to the same high standards that each of these bands set, this is still a very commendable effort from an independent band and I definitely think it’s worth taking the time to listen to each of the songs, getting to know their individual quirks and themes, and developing an appreciation for what each song has to offer.

Highlights: I.A.O., Seal of the Bleeding Moon, Crystalizing the Unspoken Truth, Serpentine Dreamweaver