Abhorrent Invocations

My bud Alex, the owner of Dolorem Records, has once again sent me a promo for one of his bands and this time it’s for Serement, a blackened death metal band hailing from Greece.  I had never heard of the word Serement and decided to look it up but had no luck, the net kept coming back with Serment, meaning an oath, allegiance to a king, a divine promise.  So based on this album cover and song titles that is what I am going with.

This is a new band that dropped a two song EP, Deviation from God, in 2022 and those songs are re-recorded on this nine song debut album.  With a run time of about 38 minutes, this is the perfect amount of time for this stylized brutality.  The band is Vaggelis Nanos is on bass, Manolis Kouelo on guitars, Andreas Moschopoulos, on vox and Vagelis Vasilopoulos on drums.  This young and upcoming act gets filthy with the album opener “Stench of Torment”.  No fancy intros, right into a nice buildup with excellent bass guitar plucking.  The pummeling blackened death metal calls to mind Behemoth during their Demigod sessions, as well as Morbid Angel.  The song is fast and furious and mid-way into the song the mid-paced moments with guitar melodies, and is a highlight on this album.

You cannot catch your breath before “Sworn” starts off with a mega blast.  The mid-paced moment at the 45-second mark is excellent with some super swift(y) double bass action and dual-layered vocals, calling to mind classic Deicide.  Some of the Morbid Angel influence is both from the Vincent and early Tucker time period and I pick up on some Gateways style.  Andreas has a nice set of gruff pipes and coupled with the higher layered vocals really helps with staying away from monotony.  This song speeds by really fast.

“Frozen Dawn of Death” begins with a killer mid-paced rumbling and the riff can breathe a little more, until..BOOM!!! right back into a monster blast, super furious.  Vagelis knows how to smash a blast beat in two and the song slows down and his drum rolls are a welcome sound to these ears.  Guitar pinch harmonics are also thrown into the mix and squeal to perfection and cut through all the high velocity that is going on.  The riffing at the 2.20 slower segment is what I can sink my teeth into and remember.  This is a strong rhythm moment for the band and then it further slows down even more, creating a memorable bridge.  This is one of the best songs, maybe my favorite on the album since the song breathes more and is not 1000 BPM’s.

“Honor of the Leech”, at a little over five minutes, is the longest song and the opening blast calls to mind vintage Suffocation, ala Mike Smith on drums, as does the rest of the blasting on this song.  This is an unrelenting track.  I like when the band moves from the blast into the fast part, not quite blasting, then back into the blasting.  These are cool and intense tempo shifts.  The song further slows down with some awesome drum rolls then – you guessed it, back into the blasting.  The song gradually gets slower and slower ending in atmospherics.

“Subliminal Enslavement is slower, and a moody number.  This is the song where the heaviness of the band truly shines – fellas you need more of these songs!!  Don’t fret, there are blasts, however, those are not the focal point of this wonderful song.  “Κατάβαση Ψυχών” ends the song and is written in the band’s native Greek language.  It translates in English to Descent of Souls.  This is an instrumental and while I am not a fan of these types of songs, it actually fits.  The structure of this would not sound cohesive if there were vocals embedded in this song.

Serement is a cool young band and Abhorrent Invocations definitely shows promise of things to come.  The production and feel have a 90’s / early 00’s flair to it, which I appreciate.  I would like to hear more of those slower, moodier numbers when the heaviness truly shines.  Those moments appear to have more of a lasting impact, rather than the constant barrage of blasting throughout this album.  The band does know when to let up on the gas pedal, at times, and for me, those are the moments that shine on this album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
July 9th, 2024


  1. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    I replaced the “s” for a “c” and the word “cerement” came up as “a shroud for the dead” on Merriam-Webster.

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