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Review: Thy Serpent - Forests Of Witchery
Thy Serpent
Forests Of Witchery

Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 1996
Duration: 48:22
Tracks: 6
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: January 31, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.59/5 (91.76%) (17 Votes)

This was the debut for melodic Black metallers Thy Serpent, a Finnish band that made some waves in the mid-to-late 90's and seems to have folded since, as they have not released anything since the "Death" EP in 2000. Originally a one-man project (ah, Black Metal) Mainstay Sami Tenetz had to actually recruit a band after he was signed to Spinefarm in order to record the album.

Fans of more melodic BM like Dissection and earlier Dimmu Borgir will find this is nothing they have not already heard. This album is 6 long tracks of mostly midpaced stuff with a rather flat production and the usual BM vocal approach. The cool thing is that Thy Serpent are decent songwriters (or rather the one guy is) and the riffing that fills this album is actually very good. It's catchy and often moody, with that distinctive Finnish sound that anyone who listens to metal is familiar with. The arrangements are a bit sprawly, and overall this is pretty laid back. Thy Serpent are certainly not going to appeal to the harsh and fast school of Black Metal, but for the more melodic style this is an excellent example. I can even see using this band to get a non-fan into harsher music, as the melodies are excellent and the general mood is more melancholy than harsh or aggressive.

Thy Serpent never did an album with their name or logo on the cover. The cover was always a simple nature photo without any sort of label at all, which I think is pretty cool. The cover for this one is a very beautiful and haunting shot of a misty forest backlit by sun. Very cool. The booklet is minimal, and only two songs have the lyrics printed. The band pics are what you would expect, and Sami (I assume that's him on the back cover) looks ridiculous in Kiss-paint, bulletbelts, and a perfectly harmless cornsnake.

I like this CD, even if it does go on a bit. It may not be strong enough for repeated listening, but for background music it has no peer. If you like melodic Black Metal, this is a good bet, and if you don't like BM at all you might even give this a listen, as it might just grab you in spite of yourself. Not a classic, but easily recommended to fans of the style.

More about Thy Serpent...
Review: Lords Of Twilight (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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