Serpent Throne
White Summer, Black Winter

This is the type of stuff I wish every jam band loving hippie would abandon their Phish bootlegs for; straightforward, no-shit instrumental stoner doom jams.  These dudes are riff machines, knocking out killer riff after killer riff, weaving twin guitar harmonies between blues infused, southern fried stoner rock n’ doom. Like many instrumental albums, however, White Summer Black Winter is something of a victim of its own success with each track being excellent standing alone, but when placed on a record with nine songs and 45 minutes of music, grows a little tiresome.

Serpent Throne’s bread and butter is balls out, kick you in the teeth rock n and roll and  methodical, bluesy crawl.  The guitars are the stars here, front and center, and are given plenty of room to breathe. “Headed for an Unmarked Grave” blasts out of the gate, hauling ass like a pick up down a dirt road, only to drive off a cliff into a whiskey river, swarming with twisting solos. “Controlled by Lunar Forces” opens with plodding southern harmony, builds to a gallop with twin guitar leads and finishes with a heavy footed stomp.  It’s almost crazy to pick favorites here because each of the nine tracks is a certified killer, with touches of doom and traditional metal appearing throughout.

That’s a blessing and a curse.  Each song is stuffed to the gills with killer riffs but after a few songs it becomes a little tiresome and begins to sound rather monotonous.  Guitarists Demian Fenton and Don Argott are such skilled merchants of the riff that it’s hard to fault them for sticking to what they do best, but stringing the songs together for 45 minutes is almost a disservice to the listener. There is a lot to digest here and subsequently this is an album that benefits by being heard a few tracks at a time.  It’s a fine slice of instrumental stoner rock, just be sure to come up for air now and again lest you choke on the smoke pouring from your speakers.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
May 16th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: EmperorGonzo

    I couldn’t agree more. Great album to have in a random stoner mix collection.


  2. Commented by: brutalicon

    Is that cover that same as Urgehal’s “Massive Terestrial Strike” album?


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