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Verminous Serpent – The Malign Covenant

verminous serpent – the malign covenant


A brand new Black Metal entity featuring Slidhr’s Joseph Deegan on guitar, Malthusian’s Matt Bree on drums, and Primordial’s A.A. Nemtheanga on vocals and bass. This trio have called themselves Verminous Serpent and their debut offering ‘The Malign Covenant’ is, in the words of their label Amor Fati Productions who will release the album on both CD and LP next month, “brimming with ancient black metal energies”. They aren’t wrong.

When I listen to Primordial, I always feel a sense of storytelling from the vocals of A.A. Nemtheanga, an abrasive spoken word style that suits their music perfectly. For Verminous Serpent though, the vocals are raw, unfettered and maniacal, a word that can also be used to describe some of the riffs from opening track ‘Seraphim Falls’, whose plunging guitar leads, deadly drum tones and punishing bass play combine magnificently to produce a glorious, lasting impression of Black Metal with a grandiose yet murky sound.

One cannot ignore the obvious Old School Death Metal influence at play during the album. Whilst ‘The Malign Covenant’ is undoubtedly a Black Metal release, there is something predatory and lurking within some of the slower melodies that reeks of the decay that only OSDM can conjure.

With that being said, the overwhelmingly noxious odour of unshackled Black Metal is the overriding sensation during the album, most notably in the feral unleashing of riffs and drums during ‘Transcendent Pyre’ whose style shifts between marauding violence and ominous slower tones that brood and creep in the shadows. Clearly much time and effort has gone into the song writing for the album as none of the five tracks sound the same, and all have their own foibles and intricacies.

‘The Malign Covenant’ is one of the easier albums I’ve had to review for a while as the musicianship and songcraft are on such a high level that it makes the words flow freely when talking about this album. It’s interesting to hear another vocal range from A.A. but in truth all three members showcase their impressive talents and the resulting mix of styles and ideas is a worthy experience.

Verminous Serpent

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