There was a time, long before I considered myself a metalhead when I thought Cannibal Corpse were just about the nastiest band on the planet. In fact, there was a period during my early teens where I actively disliked them and their brand of gore-drenched death metal. Fast forward a decade or so, and Cannibal Corpse is easy listening compared to a lot of the bands enjoyed by yours truly these days.
Why is this relevant? Well, Serpentine Dominion is the latest in an avalanche of supergroups and is fronted by Cannibal Corpse’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. The wonderful Adam D. (guitars/clean vocals) of Killswitch Engage, and Shannon Lucas, former drummer melodic death heavyweights, The Black Dahlia Murder, round out the line-up.
Of the three bands that are represented in Serpentine Dominion, it’s Cannibal Corpse whose sound is carried over most for a straight up death metal romp through fun, yet familiar, territory. The opening one-two punch of The Vengeance In Me ,and Vanquished Unto Thee is a mighty impressive way to kick things off. Both tracks are total barnstormers, complete with stellar musicianship, infectious chant-along choruses and some killer wailing guitar leads.
Divide, Conquer, Burn and Destroy, and Sovereign Hate continue this trend, with each track featuring their own highlights. The former violently works its way to a crushing end that serves as one the records heaviest moments, while the latter showcases Fisher’s ability to death growl at an impressive pace, reminding you that this certainly ain’t his first rodeo. From here things don’t get all that different, but it’s not a problem with the nine tracks clocking in at just twenty-six minutes and being as good as they are.
Like all supergroups, Serpentine Dominion suffer somewhat by not being as good as the sum of their parts, for this debut is not at the level as some of the associated acts’ output. However, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun as far as entry level death metal goes.