Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Review: The Lust I Seek - Serpent Scripts (2004)

The Lust I Seek [ Website | MySpace ]
Serpent Scripts
(2004)
self-released

It was almost exactly a year ago that I reviewed The Lust I Seek's debut EP Where Shadows Grow Silent (read the review here). I was intrigued by the talent displayed by this young Finnish Doom band, but I felt their morose sound was a little too flat and the vocal skills of Juha Wuorinen lacking, particularly when singing in his clean style. At the time, the band was already looking ahead to their next demo and promised it to be a significant departure from Where Shadows Grow Silent. A year has passed and The Lust I Seek has delivered Serpent Scripts, a demo which lives up the the expectations set by the band.

The music of The Lust I Seek remains firmly entrenched in Doom metal, but their songwriting skills have matured such that the three songs on this EP surpass their previous album in melody and structure. One significant difference is the lack of keyboards. Unlike the debut album, the songs on Serpent Scripts do not rely on keyboards for atmosphere but are instead much more guitar driven, placing emphasis on memorable riffs and striking leads. Each track contains several riffs that are driving and heavy, enticing the listener to take notice and become immersed in the mood of the music. "Anno Pandemonia", my favorite track, has an intense groove about it while never losing that sense of oppressive gloom that the band strives to keep at the core of their sound. Another indication of the band's growth as songwriters is given by the frequent use of time changes. Each song is epic in length, leaving plenty of room for the band to shift gears. What sets The Lust I Seek apart from many others who experiment with complex structures is their ability to hold each passage until it fully develops and brings the listener in. Only then do they switch tempos, moving on to the next set of beats.

Having said all this, I still feel that the vocals need some attention. Wuorinen continues to belt out the lyrics in a style that alternates between clean, Death growls, and Blackish rasps. He's more than capable in the harsher styles, but his baritone remains out of place. Going for the heavily accented, Gothic style is fine but he seems to struggle at times which makes for an awkward listen. Perhaps keeping this style to a minimum, instead concentrating on the more extreme vocalizations, would sufficiently improve upon the issue.

Ultimately, Serpent Scripts marks a significant improvement for The Lust I Seek and indicates the band clearly has it within them to rise to the challenge of creating unique, listenable metal without losing sight of their core sound. New music is expected later this year, and I for one am excited to hear where they go next.


Track Listing
1 Beyond the Grace Divine
2 Crowned in Damnation
3 Anno Pandemonia



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