HOD - Serpent
Ibex Moon Records
Black/Death Metal
7 songs (36'47")
Release year: 2009
www.ibexmoonrecords.com
Reviewed by Alex

I have started writing my review for Hod’s Serpent when I got the word that their rehearsal place was robbed, and some of their equipment was missing. Not that I have any compassion for the thieves, but god have mercy on their soul if Hod were to nail them and treat them according to how their music sounds. Taking their name from one of the northern gods, and taking the myth further, where this god is turning into a plotting vengeful creature, I can see it how Hod members can be already planning the direction into which to twist the balls of the alleged perpetrators.

If Serpent is any indication, the thieves are to experience punishment both brutal and exquisite. Possessing a large degree of trademark Texas meanness, Hod roll both equal helpings of death and black into their war metal. At the same time tracks like Victims and God of Darkness and Winter are not all barrage all the time. Sure enough Dennis Sanders spends the good deal of time blasting, but in between he has very interesting fills, taking after Proscriptor, who happened to master Serpent. The album is not a mess of cranium crashing noise, but instead takes on the crazy sinister edge, the reptile shown on the cover slithering down listener’s spine. Hod’s guitarists engage in mad and maddening solos (Ritual of Vengeance), sounding like squeaks coming out when ancient evil tomb is being opened (God of Darkness and Winter). They grind (Ritual of Vengeance), thrash (Demoralizer) or rise and fall in their tremolos constantly (Serpent of the Nightmare Empire), without bending every single note, like their statemates Averse Sefira did on Advent Parallax. Most importantly, all of these squeals and slit wrists lead somewhere, Nine Days reaching a definite and clear apotheosis. The grinding guitars my be pushed a bit too far into background, letting the vocals and drums take front stage (Ritual of Vengeance), which may not be the best approach to deliver this music, but no one should be able to accuse Hod guitarists in lack of skills (Demoralizer). Vocalist Beer Reebs completes the picture of this juggernaut and he mostly goes for the gurgling growl or he purses his lips spitting out evil demonic laughter.

So imagine the poor soul who raised his hand at Hod’s equipment is caught. Just as his face will be bashed in with heavy objects, the scalpel will be used as well so the Hod’s signature can be carved into his skin. The latter couple of tracks on Serpent may be a little less profound, but by then the crook is a pile of collapsed bloody muddle anyway. I have a feeling the fans of early Nile (In Their Darkened Shrines cover resemblance pure coincidence), Absu and Obeisance might go for just this sort of stuff.

Killing Songs :
God of Darkness and Winter, Demoralizer
Alex quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by HOD that we have reviewed:
HOD - The Book of the Worm reviewed by Andy and quoted 76 / 100
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