"Descension" (Pavement/Crash; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The hard work that Serberus have displayed over the last two years have resulted in a recording contract with Pavement/Crash. As with their previous independent releases, "In Eternity" and "Our Dying Grace," Serberus waste little time in making sure you know what they're all about - melodic death metal in the aggressive Swedish vein.

For those that don't know, Serberus' brand of aggressive is based in the now (in)famous Swedish melodeath sound that has become quite popular throughout the world. Serberus are one of the precious few American bands that have had any measure of success in this style.

Serberus' version of melodic death metal has more in common with the likes of Enter My Silence or Witchery - Serberus have more grit in their music than a band like In Flames who may be more responsible than any other band for the genre's popularity.

For the uninitiated every track will seem new and fresh. However, longtime fans of the band will have already heard five of the disc's seven tracks. The new tracks "Falling Into The Abyss" and "Creed Of War" are nice additions to Serberus' growing list of aggression made music.

However, don't feel slighted by the seven tracks. A huge multimedia section is included that features two live performances of the band, bios, photos, interviews, and reviews. Serberus may be at the forefront of providing a true multimedia experience with the purchase of a CD.

"Descension" is a nice and tidy package of the band's efforts so far; hopefully, Serberus will write some new songs and put out a full-length of new material. That is something I'm actually looking forward to and I'm glad the band gets a chance to do it with their partnership with the Pavement/Crash label.

"Descension" was produced by Dave Otero and Serberus.

Serberus is Dave Otero on lead vocals and guitars, Ivan Alcala on vocals and guitars, Patrick Russell on bass, and Jeremy Portz has since replaced Corey Melanson on drums.

For more information visit

"Our Dying Grace" (Self-produced; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Hot on the heels of their previous EP, "In Eternity," Serberus have released their newest EP "Our Dying Grace" to their growing base of fans across the globe.  "Our Dying Grace" has an intro and four songs (two new songs to the Serberus canon and two recently released songs).

The two new songs are the title track and a cover of Destruction's "Curse The Gods." "Our Dying Grace" is a speedy number that ups-the-ante from their previous effort "In Eternity."  With this song, it is clear that the hard work of the band is paying off in a sound that is evident of the sure-footed nature to evolving into their own sound. "Curse The Gods" is relentless, full-bore aggression from the get-go as you might expect from a Destruction song.  The riffing on "Curse Of The Gods" is tight and has elements of the thrash and death metal styles; the key here is that Serberus make it their own without losing the Swedish melodic death metal tightness.

Two songs from the "In Eternity" EP make a re-recorded appearance on "Our Dying Grace." Both "Dark Dream" and "Ancient Throne" are revamped to great effect.  While "Dark Dream" still remains greatly indebted to the early In Flames style the production this time around gives the drums a sharper attack and an overall boost to the lead guitar riffs. "Ancient Throne" also benefits from the improved production, but largely remains the same as it appeared on the "In Eternity" EP. 

Co-vocalists (and co-lead guitarists) Dave Otero and Ivan Alcala both sing in the aggressive melodic death metal style and are somewhat indistinguishable.  However, I now realize that both Otero and Alcala both are more similar in sound to Witchery's Toxine rather than In Flames' Anders Frieden or Dark Tranquillity's Mikael Stanne.  As guitarists Otero and Alcala are confident if not original.  The rhythm section of Patrick Russell and Corey Melanson keep a solid foundation at all times. 

"Our Dying Grace" is also packaged with a multimedia section that includes two live videos, the out-of-print "In Eternity" EP in mp3 format, and an interactive menu that includes lyrics, bio, discography, line-ups, reviews, and interviews.

"Our Dying Grace" is perfect for fans of the Swedish melodic death metal style and also remains an intriguing American version of this nearly ubiquitous style.

Serberus is Dave Otero on lead guitar and vocals, Ivan Alcala on lead guitar and vocals, Patrick Russell on bass, and Corey Melanson on drums. 

For more information visit

"Our Dying Grace" (Self-produced; 2001)

Reviewed by Rose Grech

Serberus's second EP, entitled "Our Dying Grace," offers an American death metal band. They combine the best elements of death, black and power metal mixed with slight melody.

Their sound is very aggressive with fast, hard, pounding drums, scratchy vocals and loud guitar riffs. The two lead guitarists share the vocals, however you can hardly notice a difference in the sound.

"Our Dying Grace" contains three original songs and a cover of Destruction's "Curse of the Gods."  It also is a multimedia CD with two live video clips and information on the band.

The songs have the sound, lyrics and elements of death metal but not one jumped out and grabbed my attention and screamed 'this kicks ass.' 

Serberus started in 1998 in Denver, Colorado and they seem serious about their work. If you like death metal bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Testament, Napalm Death, etc. then this is another band to add to your collection.

"In Eternity" (Self-produced; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

This four-track demo proves that the melodic death metal style originating in Scandinavia is continuing to have an influence on American bands. Serberus, hailing from Boulder, Colorado, give the melodic death metal style a darkened, evil sheen on their five song mini-CD "In Eternity."

"Ancient Throne" is a black metal styled number. "Dark Dream" and "In Eternity" show many "Jester Race"-era riffs and melodies which is sure to please the growing In Flames fan base looking for an American band in this style. "Gates Of Fire" has an ominous, doomy intro before settling into galloping rhythms.

The guitarists, Dave and Ivan, split vocal duties with lead vocals on two tracks each. The vocals are quite aggressive and lean more towards a black metal vocal sound than melodic death metal vocal growls that you might be familiar with. 

A live version of "Ancient Throne," minus the acoustic outro, is included as fifth, bonus track.

All in all, "In Eternity" is a good start for these four minions of Hell. A full-length debut will be ready in Spring 2001.

"In Eternity" was produced by Serberus and engineered by Dave Otero.

Serberus is Ivan Alcala on guitar and vocals, Dave Otero on guitar and vocals, Aaron Meacham on bass, and Corey Melanson on drums. 

For more information visit

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.