HOD - Serpent

Hod - Serpent

7 songs
36:46 minutes
***** ****
Ibex Moon


Hod may be a new band, but the band members are anything but newcomers. Guitarist Bjorn Haga used to play in pioneer Texan black death metal Necrovore in the late Eighties and, according to the record label, influenced the likes of Mayhem, Dissection and Incantation. Bass player Derrik Rivers was even a member of the late GG Allin’s touring band.

The band photo already shows us tough looking Americans that are the total opposite of many chicken breasted black metal upstarts who probably were not even born yet when these Texans started to pick up their instruments. With a history that goes right back to the beginning of the thrash, death and black metal movement, it makes sense that Hod are serving themselves from those styles, mixing it all up in a down and dirty sounding hybrid that sounds as if imported straight from the mid-Eighties. Don’t expect any technical subtleties, because Hod prefer to add an unpolished punk attitude to their black death thrash metal. The six minute long opener Victims shows instantly their preferred modus operandi. The drums are pounding hyperfast as if there were no tomorrow, the guitars play gritty riffs that induce headbanging and moshpits, even at home in your living room, and the vocals are coerced straight from the gut, in a true death thrash tradition. On Demoralizer, we even get a straight punk riffing to start the song.

Serpent is one of the most primitive albums I have ever come across, but I really love it. It’s its unadulterated sincerity and its uncompromising directness that elevate this light years above genre imitators that were not there when it all started. The album may be short, containing only seven tracks, but once you have listened your way through these thirty-seven minutes of mayhem, you’d be a really tough person if you didn’t need a break. This is primordial extreme metal that we rarely get these days.

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