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Bombs Of Hades - "The Serpent's Redemption" (CD)

Bombs Of Hades - "The Serpent's Redemption" CD cover image

"The Serpent's Redemption" track listing:

1. Crawl Away And Bleed Forever (4:25)
2. Darkness, My Soul (3:36)
3. Burn (3:30)
4. The Serpent's Redemption (6:39)
5. Forgotten In Graves (4:22)
6. Incubus Descending (3:34)
7. Skull Collector (2:37)
8. Scorched Earth (10:10)

Reviewed by on October 17, 2012

"The band’s mindset is rage against the world and leave nothing behind, and the music is an apt representation of these feelings."

Splashing death metal with a bit of crusty speed, Bombs Of Hades puts up a reinvigorating front on their second album, “The Serpent’s Redemption.” At times like Goatwhore in a bad mood, or the sonic equivalence of a church on fire while mass is in session, “The Serpent’s Redemption” strips death metal to its fundamentals. There’s more to the album than unapologetic death metal, branching out into avenues that would surprise the doe-eyed listener hearing the album for the first time.

Bombs Of Hades was initially a crust punk band, and though they have stepped far from that spectrum, there are still pieces of that past style on “The Serpent’s Redemption.” It’s imprinted into some of the chaotic cuts like “Skull Collector” and “Burn.” The band’s mindset is rage against the world and leave nothing behind, and the music is an apt representation of these feelings. Each song, no matter how crushingly heavy or aggressive the pace is, has a low tolerance for subtlety in its intentions.

Though it could be enough for the band to hand out a beating for 40 minutes, there is a noted effort to not just pound the listener into submission. A mellow acoustic outro on “Darkness, My Soul” offers a moment of clarity. The title track moves like a tiger stalking its pray, following the fowl creature all the way through the jungle until it finds the right time to unveil itself and attack. Most of the tracks rip and tear with no class, but the title track finds room to just let the music play out without interference from the messier side of the band.

Where “The Serpent’s Redemption” outweighs the band’s debut album “Chambers Of Abominations” is in the band's ability to not be held to a standard. It would seem odd for the band to try a ten-minute mammoth like “Scorched Earth,” but they take this three-part jam and twist it into a stunning closer. Starting with some ominous organ lines, the track gets into the wicked solos and harsh barking the other tracks become glued to, finishing up with a extended instrumental passage called “Rapture” that matches the grim themes of the two previous parts, “Into Chaos” and “The Throne Of Flesh.”

Swedish death metal has a lineage that spans the course of decades, and has given us enough memorable albums to fill a warehouse with. That warehouse should find a place somewhere for “The Serpent’s Redemption,” a worthy addition to the scene that has spawned legends like At The Gates and Entombed. It’s difficult to get up to the same level as said bands with only a few albums under one’s belt, but Bombs Of Hades has taken the necessary actions to begin carving out a career worthy of the greats with “The Serpent’s Redemption.”

Highs: Step up from their last album, death metal that isn't afraid of dynamics, album is a rager from start to finish

Lows: While an excellent closer, "Scorched Earth" does drag a bit with an extended ambient section around the halfway point.

Bottom line: Bombs Of Hades impresses with the death metal stylings on their second album, "The Serpent's Redemption."

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)