Those who complained about lack of originality and uniqueness of Still Remains first release Of Love & Lunacy, rejoice!
Rising superstars The Devil Wears Prada list Still Remains as one of their top influences, and for good reason. These guys, although to a great misfortune now disbanded, left quite a mark in hardcore music by taking full advantage of every element that can possibly be found in their genre. Excellent screaming, above average singing, well put lyrics, outstanding guitar work, ferocious drumming, and my personal favorite: synthesized keyboards!
The Serpent begins with a two-minute instrumental title track which provides us with a good idea for what the rest of the album holds musically. The next song features the obvious style difference from their previous works, more singing than shouting and not as dark of an atmosphere.
"Stay Captive" starts with a tasty guitar lick and transports into the first scream-less, all-singing track. Lyrically, it discloses abstinence, "I feel I know you well, If I were you I'd wait...Wait for love." The singing part is where previous-release-lovers complain, but I see it as a very professionally executed effort filled with originality that somewhat lacked in their previous head banging effort. "Anemia In Your Sheets" is a major album highlight that fantastically fills in for the previous track's softness. "Maria" really slows things down only to build up anticipation for "Dropped From The Cherry Tree." It's a very cruel track about growing up with no proper parental attention, in which lead vocalist T.J. Miller shouts, "Bound to grow up alone, so I could teach myself, how to never be like you."
"Dancing With The Enemy" is quite catchy with a fair share of synths. Similar to it would be "Sleepless Nights Alone," which in its turn has some lovely riffs before the final chorus. Another scream-less track, "An Undesired Reunion," speaks of a regretful relationship that was all lust and no love, "I hope you disappear again, wrong for now is wrong for then...Be sure this time you stay away, from all the beauty of today."
Album closes out very strongly with "Avalanche," which really feels like the heaviest track on the album. It's also the only song that does not offer any smooth singing, which works to its full advantage. I would've given this album a five-star rating, but I'm not overly exited about "Avalanche" being themed about a video game (Final Fantasy VII). Also, "The River Song" fits quite well within the album, but unlike the rest of the release, it stands quite weak as an individual track.
The Serpent is one of the most diverse metalcore albums you'd ever give an ear to. And it is so worth it! It would be very inviting to hear what else the short-lived Still Remains could have offered us, but unfortunately for now all we can dig in to are Of Love & Lunacy and The Serpent; both of these releases can do wonders!JFH Reader Review: Review date: 9/30/09, written by Lyubomir Leshchuk for Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Roadrunner Records
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