[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
Bunkier Productions released in 2014 this first album of a Canadian group from Vancouver. The label is specialized in heathen folk and ritualistic ambient, two musical styles that are being displayed on this record as well.
A proper opening for a special musical offering searches to determine and activate those vibrations susceptible to forge a channel of communication with the listener’s spiritual states. With this thought in mind, the throat-singing reproducing Tibetan chants on the introductory song favors a connection one has to build in order to discover the deep levels of the following melodies. And Brazen Serpent turns out to labor on a very special ground, within a mysterious and gracious musical realm galvanized and fed upon an undisclosed faith and devotion. There is a soft, comforting aspect of their music superposed on a tragic display of orchestration.
Thus, on “Sanctus Sanguis Sanctus”, the Gregorian chants respond to a grave recital vocal timbre (like on Tiamat’s “A Deeper Kind of Slumber”), deepening the engulfing and vaporous nuances of the song. Unlike most projects recording in this field, Brazen Serpent’s worldview is much different, as their approach is solely guided by personal beliefs of anti-cosmic and luciferian devotional origins. “Vacuous Cyclone” , with its terrifying death ambient slabs seems to suggest in accolades that they have chosen the neofolk style mainly as a way to express their faith, and secondly out of love for the scene. And what a pleasant and original form of expression, somewhere between Dissection’s “Reinkaos” and Trepaneringsritualen’s “Perfection & Permanence”, endeavoring to paint an image of the One they worship or of “The Luciform” (the fourth piece, a modern ritual and chant written in a different scale than Christian psalmody). The song has the passion and nostalgia of a more medieval Sol Invictus and an intelligent, highly artistic sense of melody (in line with two other lately impressive records: Tamerlan’s “Ain” and Sonne Hagal’s “Ockerwasser”.
The obsessive, drone-like percussive march that haunts the longest track of the record, “Befallen”, prepares the path to a martial folk procession, bombastic and visceral at the same time. It is quite a trademark for Brazen Serpent to treat folk elements as meditative supports and thus reveal a music that is both charming and spiritual.
Besides, the Canadians confess that the project is a hymn to the Holy Death and the Black Internal Light, just like their entreaty for extinguishment on “Silencing Aeons”. Once more, the melody bears the fruits of the sincere humility and fasting devotion that guided the artists in the process of composing. They close their call to prayer with “Imperishable Emptiness”, a cavalcade of resplendent nihilism and musical fanfare.
It would sound pretentious to trace here a new shape of orthodox neofolk, considering the religious features of the opus , and yet non-black metal projects are rising here and there that use music to convey their beliefs. Apart from this, it would not be artificial at all to see the rising of a new (pentagram) star in the imperishable musical underground.