Release date: August 7, 2007
Label: Roadrunner Records
The Serpent is the third full-length release from American techo-metal band Still Remains, a group with talented members that give their songs a flavour not unlike the UK-based Enter Shikari. With T.J. Miller on vocals, Mike Church on guitar and backing vocals, Jordan Whelan on second guitar, Steve Hetland on bass, Adrian Green on the drums, and Ben Schauland on the keyboards, this is a band that reminds me of Slipknot for all the different elements the members bring to the music.
The track ?Avalanche? shows off the diversity of not only the talent but also the songwriting, as Miller takes the heavy metal screamo vocals and then his bandmates trail the song off with soft acoustic guitar and a sweet little melody. These seemingly contrasting pieces of music are composed well independently and in conjunction with one another, helping to give the album a well-rounded feel that keeps you listening the entire way through. Let’s face it, there are some great metal albums out there that can only be listened to five or six tracks at a time; this is not one of those.
Many essentially heavy metal bands attempt to bring some glam guitar into their songs, mixed with differing layers of vocals and shouts, bass and even keyboard, but I don’t think very many of them get it this right.
Still Remains has figured out the perfect mixture for the band members, and with each song locked into a strong balance you can tell that the musicians are left to bring a steady energy into their playing that comes through very well. I never once had the impression that a guitar solo went on too long, or ended too high, or that lyrics coming from either the bottom of Miller’s lungs or higher up in his vocal chords were unwarranted. It’s an essentially flawless metal album, and the keyboards give the tracks that extra dimension to bring the two guitar lines together without a sharp edge.
The Serpent is due for release in August, and if you are a hardcore metal fan or if you just buy one or two metal albums to round out a more diverse CD collection, I think this is one you will enjoy. If you are a particular fan of Enter Shikari or Aiden, Still Remains is entirely able to give you what you are looking for and perhaps gain themselves a new and dedicated lifelong fan. Check it out.