"Serpents Kiss" (Self-released; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This self-titled CD by Serpents Kiss is a melodic power metal release with enough unique twists in the band's line-up and style to make it stand up and above the majority of the other new releases in a genre wherein one band too often sounds just like another.

Featuring two female lead vocalists, epic songwriting, and guitars that are large and loud when necessary and razor sharp when called for, "Serpents Kiss" is the kind of CD that you may not be sure about at first, but by the third track, you're hooked and ready for more.

What's interesting is that, if the band were fronted by a male vocalist rather than the female duo of Catherine and Kate, this CD wouldn't have been quite as interesting. The female singers give the fantasy-laden lyrics (from songs such as "Black Wizard" and "Strider") a fresh feel, whereas a male singer might have drawn the songs into that cliche'd testosterone heavy sound.

But isn't just the fact that the lead singers are female that makes Serpents Kiss worth a listen. Not only are these women extremely talented, but the band uses them in a smart way, alternating vocals, blending them when necessary, and throwing in a growl here and there to keep things rough.

The songs are all strongly guitar-driven and that's also a plus considering the talents of guitarists Will and Mike, who lay down crunching riffs and fiery leads at all the right times. 

The only downside here is that I wish the production were a little clearer. Sometimes the vocals almost fade away into the music and at others the mix sounds sterile rather than crisp. With a better mix and/or production, "Serpents Kiss" would easily garner an extra half guitarsaw rating.

Although their sound is considerably different than power metal monsters like Helloween or Stratovarius, fans of those bands will find something to their liking with "Serpents Kiss."

Serpents Kiss: Will - lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars, keyboards, vocals; Mike - lead guitars; Wayne - bass; Paul - drums; Kate - vocals; Catherine - vocals. 

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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 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:20 -0400.