The song you’re about to hear is such a wild, vicious, blazing torrent of sound that it’s hard not to think of it as a shock-and-awe campaign, or perhaps as a cyclonic Sirocco scourge blasting from the open gates of Hell. The name of the track is “In Darkness, Brotherhood“, and it comes from Sulphur Sovereign, the explosive new album by the Swedish black metal band Blood of Serpents.
This new track isn’t the first one to be divulged from the album in advance of its September 25 release by Non Serviam Records. Earlier this month we were assaulted by the song “Devil’s Tongue“, which was so striking that we were moved to write about it immediately, before we had any inkling we’d be invited to host today’s premiere. The sheer electrifying effect of that song’s blinding speed and warlike vehemence (and the scalding savagery of the vocals) were gripping, and the high, soaring, delirious grandeur of the melody at its core made it even more riveting. And now we’ve been riveted again.
Thematically, “In Darkness, Brotherhood” is a war anthem, one impelled by defiance of theistic creeds, one which (as the band have stated) “decries all organized religion and calls for an anti-theistic world where men rule without make-belief gods. Non Serviam!”
The music really is a tremendous rush, a combination of such furious speed and such rampant instrumental and vocal intensity that it’s almost enough to suck the air from your lungs. The lightning-fast drum blasting and turbocharged bass lines provide a giant adrenaline surge, and the riffs swirl and swarm in a kind of poisonous ecstasy, with guitar leads that spiral up and swoop down in displays of exotic madness. The vicious, howling voice is just as incendiary, combining with the instrumentation in a way that makes the music seem like a gale of burning derangement, given an aura of sulphurous sovereignty (pun intended) by the chords that ring out before the song ends.
This isn’t quite the same Blood of Serpents that released the Black Dawn debut album four years ago. This new album is the first one to feature drummer Christoffer Andersson and vocalist Thomas Clifford (Throne of Heresy, Abscession). And it should be noted that the album isn’t a non-stop torrent of destruction, but also includes atmospheric pieces and haunting melodic parts.
The album was produced by Lars Broddesson (ex-Marduk) and it was mixed and mastered by Magnus Devo Andersson (Marduk). The tremendous, Gustave Doré-inspired artwork was created by Khaos Diktator.
Sulphur Sovereign will be out worldwide on September 25, 2018, through Non Serviam Records on digipak CD and digital formats.