Sea of Snakes Stream Debut Album The Serpent and the Lamb in Full

sea of snakes the serpent and the lamb

Los Angeles heavy rockers Sea of Snakes release their debut album, The Serpent and the Lamb, on Oct. 14 through Wet Records, and, well, I think we all know how it’s going to work out for the lamb in question. The record runs 10 songs and 42 minutes and sure enough, its aesthetic intention is clear almost from the outset in “Start a War” through the hard-landing tonal crunch, burly vocals and rhythmic shove. It is also fascinatingly specific in seeming to be keyed directly in terms of influences on an era of pre-heavy rock circa 1990-1991, primarily drawing from Corrosion of Conformity‘s Blind (and Deliverance), and Facelift-era Alice in Chains, the latter of which comes out all the more as “Demon Seed” picks up from the opener.

Jason Busiek‘s vocals are a big part of that impression, and over the dense riffing of Jim McCloskeyLorenzo Almanza‘s bass and Jeff Murray‘s drums, his delivery in “Get the Gun” (anyone remember that Ozzy Behind the Music where he talked about “Suicide Solution?” All I can think of is, “I never said get the fucking gun, man.” And well, Sea of Snakes said “get the gun” and “shoot shoot shoot shoot”) and the slower, more-doomed-in-the-first-half “End of the Sun,” brings earlier Staley l0w-in-mouth sensibilities to bear as part of a sound that’s so 30 years ago I want to ask my mom to drive me to Caldor to buy the tape so I can play it on the Sony Walkman that I got for my birthday with the cheap-ass headphones that have the metal slide that pulls my hair out every single time.

I fucking loved that Walkman. Took it for walks, you know.

It would not be a surprise to find out if anybody among the four members of Sea of Snakes had the same player — it was a very popular item down at the Caldor — but that time period obviously left a mark one way or the other, and aside from some differentiated popping in the snare on “End of the Sun,” they just about nail it. That slowdown is both a transition out of the opening three-song, kick-ass-out-of-the-gate salvo and one into the stoned-bluesy mood-piece “Dead Man’s Song,” with its Pepper Keenan-via-“Planet Caravan” drift and Busiek hitting those notes as few in the post-AIC vein could ever hope to do. Admirably, the song doesn’t veer into the swell of volume one might expect — there’s plenty more heavy to come on side 2, no worries so long as your tape doesn’t get chewed up — and it doesn’t tip into goofball metal balladry either, even with the layered vocals near the end.

And as though to reassure that any feeling of feelings was only temporary and have another beer and it’s all good, the second half of The Serpent and the Lamb starts with the chugging “Third Kind,” a semi-metal roller based around a central riff that’s more the band’s own while still being a fit with its surroundings, lyrics about alien abduction something of an escape from the more real-world crunch in the earlier tracks (not a complaint). “Third Kind” finishes with its solo and makes a smooth, on-the-beat turn into “In Hell,” a catchy highlight that follows suit with a punchy declension and its own scorcher of a solo, as well as one of just three tracks along with “Demon Seed” and “Hands are Tied” to come that are under four minutes long.

sea of snakes

“God of Creation” swings and rides that groove well, holding firm to the momentum coming out of “In Hell” and turning at its halfway point to a mid-tempo nod that serves as the basis for the rest of the song, a structural change that is subtle but well appreciated as a changeup from the straightforward approach of much of The Serpent and the Lamb that’s nonetheless consistent with the overarching pretense-free attitude Sea of Snakes have about where they’re coming from. They sneak another hook into “Hands Are Tied” before closing out with a doomier repositioning in “The Ritual,” an open verse with subdued lead notes trading off with a heavier chorus twice before shifting into the ending, faster and semi-metallic unto its should’ve-seen-it-coming quick fadeout.

That last element is one more underscoring the early-’90s particularity of the moment being represented in Sea of Snakes‘ sound. Even unto the “Suicide Solution” reference, the four-piece follow their aptly-named 2021 World on Fire EP with an upfront reassurance that they’re schooled in what they’re doing, and The Serpent and the Lamb is a step deeper into the method of groove (as Life of Agony would say in 1993) that the initial short release put forth that’s not necessarily held back by its self-awareness.

All of which is to say, they know who they are and they know what they want to be as a band, and the feel of their first record is that it accomplishes this goal in sound and songwriting. What comes next is to build on the niche-digging spirit of this material and to develop the persona being laid forth here, but there’s no denying they nailed the sound they were honing in on with these songs, right at the point when ’80s metal and harder rock were turning into grunge and heavy riffing and the second generation to worship Black Sabbath was coming of age. I guess you could call it retro, but what isn’t? So long as they watch out for Tipper Gore and the PMRC they should be just fine.

You’ll find The Serpent and the Lamb streaming in full on the player below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

A powerful mix of hard rock, stoner rock/metal with touches of doom, The Serpent And The Lamb is a fuzz-fueled explosion. In 2021 the band signed with Metal Assault Records to release their debut EP, World On Fire, and now the new album marks the next chapter of SEA OF SNAKES’ journey. The Serpent And The Lamb will release on October 14th.

These untameable serpents make no apologies in turning it up to eleven. Become immersed in the captivating sounds forming beneath the darkening skies. A drop of blood may be spilled here and there, but The Serpent And The Lamb is an experience not be missed.

SEA OF SNAKES was formed by longtime friends Jeff Murray of The Shrine (drums) and Jim McCloskey of MotorSickle (guitar), soon joined by heavy-hitting vocalist Tracy Steiger (ex Saul of Tarsus) and bassist Mick Coffman. The Serpent And The Lamb recorded at Birdcage Studios in Pico Rivera. Mixed by Matt Lynch (bassist from the band SNAIL).

Track List:
1. Start A War
2. Demon Seed
3. Get the Gun
4. End of the Sun
5. Dead Man’s Song
6. Third Kind
7. In Hell
8. God of Creation
9. Hands are Tied
10. The Ritual

Jim McCloskey – guitars
Jeff Murray – drums
Jason Busiek – vocals
Lorenzo Almanza – bass

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3 Responses to “Sea of Snakes Stream Debut Album The Serpent and the Lamb in Full”

  1. […] Los Angeles stoner/alternative rock band Sea Of Snakes stream their debut album »The Serpent And The Lamb« in its entirety at The Obelisk! […]

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