An excruciatingly heavy mass of malice…
Review by Jason Guest
Release date: 26 August 2014
Aural chaos and devastation. That’s probably the best way to describe the thirteen tracks of mutilated destruction that make up Toronto-based Nuclearhammer’s second full length, Serpentine Hermetic Lucifer. Comprised of seven brutal tracks interspersed with six disconcertingly ethereal electronic drones (each of which are between eight and fifty seconds long), this is an album that could easily be split into two. One of ruthless barbarity, the other of atmospheric oppression, both would be as crushing and as unnerving as each other, but structure the album as Nuclearhammer have here and the nefarious impact is deepened.
While the drones of the transitory electronic tracks offer a brief but no less disturbing respite, as the drums and guitars are mashed to a pulp and the vocals are torn to shreds, the sounds that emanate from them are mangled into nightmarish tracks that plot an otherworldly and dreadful journey. While the two longest tracks, the nine-minute opener and ‘Multi-Dimensional Prism Of Black’ and the twelve-minute closer ‘Cosmic Atomic Hypnosis’, bookend the devastation with unremitting violence and dense atmospherics, whether concentrated into the thirty-three seconds of ‘…Rise No More’ or into the more dynamically structured seven-minutes of ‘Phosphorus Clouds Descend On Mecca’ and the aforementioned opener and closer, the bestial blend of black and death grinding riffs and torturous horror is consistent throughout.
Appearing five years after their first full length, 2009’s outstanding Obliteration Ritual, for Nuclearhammer, their blackened barbarity hasn’t faded one bit. It’s intensified. Each track designed as part of the whole and strong enough by itself, this is an album that is unendingly impressive. And with a completely analog recording and production (contact with anything digital was avoided at all costs, apparently) Serpentine Hermetic Lucifer is an excruciatingly heavy mass of malice that belongs in your collection.
8 out of 10
- Multi-Dimensional Prism Of Black
- 24-Cell (Octoplex)
- …Rise No More
- 120-Cell (Hyperdodecahedron)
- 600-Cell (Hexacosichoron)
- Phosphorus Clouds Descend On Mecca
- H3po4 (Orthophosphoric Acid)
- Parasitic (Temple Of Rats) / Hpo3 (Metaphosphoric Acid)
- 12th Dimension
- The Seeds Of Martyrdom Remain Bitter Until The Dawn Of Reverted Curses
- Cosmic Atomic Hypnosis