Genre: Black Metal
Label: Ogmios Underground
It was early January of 2018 when I laid my hands on ‘FOR I, THE MISANTHROPIST’, the third in a row album of HUMAN SERPENT. But before I even listen to a single note, I will go back to the past…
It’s summer -in particular June- of 2015 and writing the review for the band’s previous album, I emphasized that ‘…if the debut astonished you, their new work will blow your brains out’. Yes, that was what the blackmetallers from Lamia, Greece did, since if their debut album ‘The Gradual Immersion in Nihilism’ was a pleasant surprise in the releases of 2014, with ‘Inhumane Minimalism’ they achieved to be established and stand proudly next to giants of the international black metal scene. So honestly, I thought that album was their zenith; I thought they had reached their peak. Until now…
It took no more than two listening sessions to figure out how stupid a person may feel (that’s me) when he hurries to draw conclusions and in the end is proved completely wrong. On ‘For I, the Misanthropist’, Human Serpent also pulls you violently in their burrow and lashes you for thirty-six minutes with relentless and badass black metal, but the difference in comparison to the past is obvious from the very first minutes, since the brutality and the raw hate of their previous releases have given their place to a creeping feeling of abhorrence which boils like lava, and for centuries trapped in the heart of the earth, is getting ready to pour forth violent.
Aggression and constant outbursts are, of course, the basic elements on ‘For I, the Misanthropist’, but on the one hand the misty atmosphere which feels like a thick gray cloud, and on the other the sharp, railway and heavily melodic riffology, showcase a strange alloy of feelings full of hatred and passion. All together with the slow and macabre passages and the constant experiments on the vocal part -which sometimes are bestial growls, others heartbreaking screams and others clean and narrative- we are talking about the definition, about the quintessence of doom and gloom.
About the production part, it is quite different from the previous works of Human Serpent, as it is more loud and clear as compared with the past. However, if we think that ‘For I, the Misanthropist’ is an arch, the production part is the keystone that ‘locks’ all the other parts in place, in a strong and solid result.
Finally, special mention also is deserved about the artwork of the front cover, which is once again made by Mario Polzin (aka Moornebheym).
A photograph portraying minor workers-slaves in America’s mines at the beginning of the 20th century has been edited in such a way that from the tortured children’s faceless, soulless bodies are reflected all those feelings of the members of the band that inspire them to create, and especially the personal struggle against the materialistic view of life.
To summarize, ‘For I, the Misanthropist’ is certainly the most mature and balanced -until the next, since I do not intend to make the same mistake again- Human Serpent’s release. Anything else said is just a waste of time.