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Osculum Serpentis – Satanā

osculum serpentis – satanā


Osculum Serpentis, the spawn of Vipera (Maxime Taccardi) is his interpretation of raw French Black Metal as well as his latest musical creation. Vipera incorporated most common traits of this extreme genre into Osculum Serpentis: fast tempos, the heavily distorted guitars , rather unconventional song structures, a big emphasis on atmosphere and an insane vocal style. Theatrics, all the trimmings.

But he does it, according to his point of view on Black Metal, not by any unwritten rules or standards.

‘Satanā (Invocation I)’ is the obligatory long ouverture, dark cinematic ambient, mixed with a variety of creepy demonic voices. When ‘The Real You’ suddenly explodes, we get a hybrid mixture of Black Metal and Ambient – Ferocious scrubbing (not tremelo picking) on the distorted guitars, drums in overdrive (Vondur?) and cascades of utterly bestial and inhuman vocals. This recording is way more panoramic – with sounds flying to your head from the left and the right. It’s raw and rotten enough for me, if you want to know. A whirlwind of frenzy and insanity it is. The music slides into dark sound track music, with heavy drum bursts.

‘Disciples of the bright light’ is frightening at best with pulsating drums, mistreated with human bones (Barathrum?) and frantic guitars that try to break out of this swamp of sound. Vocals are simply not of this world. And it becomes real dangerous when the pace drops into a procession of morbidity, ending in a haze of dark ambient music.

Another tortuous interlude, ‘Satanā (Invocation II)’ sets the mood for ‘L’ecorce Maudite’ – ugly and lo fi Striborg/LLN style Black Metal – oozes out of the speakers.

Wave upon wave fills up the room with darkness and disturbing orchestrations. The setting of ‘Satanā’ is clearly in rural France, amidst superstitious peasants, their fat women, flowing fields of wheat, hogs in shit and their ugly offspring. It’s about dark satanic rituals, as if they were taken out of some grimoire. Every track does have this instrumental aspect, that drags you into this musical madness. The songs are lengthy, often exceeding 7 minutes – but never really get boring.

The suffocating atmosphere and the bleak instrumental, yet sublime compositions of Vipera turn every song into a pitch black experience. No compromises in this realm.

And then – track 7 – the Burzum cover ‘Black Spell of Destruction’. The song has been completely deconstructed and assembled into a monstruous behemoth that crushes everything in its way. BRILLIANT! The only thing that bears remembrance to the original song are the guitar riffs. The vocals are nothing more animalistic roars. This is what a cover is supposed to be like – an interpretation of the song by the performing artist himself. I played the song to several people, only the elite few knew what it was…

‘Où vais-Je’ closes the album with acoustic guitar by Mikko Letho from October Falls. Not an outro …. more of a cliffhanger and omen of menacing things to come. Osculum Serpentis turns out to be a real revelation to me. This isn’t anything I’ve experienced before. It’s not as experimental as GRIMM or K.F.R., still it bears the Maxime Taccardi stamp all over it. It is by far the most “metal” oriented music he has ever made. it’s the stuff you’d expect to find on Voidhanger Recs. from Poland, Zwaertgevegt, Heidens Hart or even the legendary Sadolust from the Netherlands.

Experimental? They say the same about Lugubrum. It is the vision and interpretation by Vipera/Maxime Taccardi on raw Black Metal, the French Black Legions and other unique sound terrorists; Abruptum, Striborg, Xasthur. We’re not going to do the entire name dropping. A top notch production with many details and a superb sound. On a personal note – I’d place the Black Metal parts more prominent in the mix. But who am I to question an artist? Drowning The Light have been doing their thing their entire career and none tells them to alter their recordings ….

Thus: Maxime nails it!! With 6 spikes through the rancid skull of the Nazarene charlatan! Is there anything this man can’t accomplish?

So far, it is not on label yet, since the entire oeuvre was conceived and recorded in a stupendous period of time. Like Burzum once did.

The digital portion can be found on Bandcamp. Either you love it, or you hate it. Hopefully, some record company will have the balls to release this unique and obstinate music in the near future.

In any case – I’d suggest you have listen to it – several times.

Osculum Serpentis

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