(We present the first NCS review of 2021 by DGR. Even though we’re already six weeks into the new year without hearing from him, he has been busy listening and writing — witness the fact that we suddenly have an archive of four reviews, divided into four parts, of which this is the first. The others will follow over the next three days.)
We’ve been hammering the drum for Greek black metal group Human Serpent for a little while now – at least your dear writer has – so the announcement last year of a full-length followup to the group’s scorcher of a 2018 album For I, The Misanthropist (after a series of intervening EPs and singles) was exciting. While the singles and EPs proved to be a lot of fun, if only as a small slice of just how surgically dangerous the band have become, a new full-length blasting from the group’s furnace was obviously going to be a lot more exciting.
And thus with the closing of January do we find ourselves at the feet of the group’s latest release Heirlooms Eternal, an album self-described by the band like this: “It is the most aggressive, soul-suffocating and mind-destructive Human Serpent album/It is a physical manifestation of a life-walking private hell.”
For one: The album is certainly the most visually colorful, given the group’s excellent choice of red and black for the cover art (we may be biased toward that combo) vs their usual muted blacks, greys, and sepia tones. But also, when you have a song with a title like “Memories Are Rooms Of Pain”, you can’t help but think that maybe the band might be on to something when they describe their own music as “soul-suffocating”.