Raised By Wolves


I’m sorry, SerpentCult.  I tried to like you; I really did.  I played Raised by Wolves in a variety of settings: in the car while driving, in the car while not driving, in the car idling and half asleep and staring mindlessly out the window, at home doing laundry, at home drinking a beer and looking at LOLcats, in the office on shitty headphones, in the office (cautiously) without headphones when everybody left for lunch, chasing around a screaming two-year-old, even while doing things I’d blush to say (like suckling from the supple teat of a mother wolf…I was raised by wolves too, you know).  Sometimes you accentuated the extreme awesomeness of whatever it was I was doing at the time, but five out of six times you were just boring background noise.  And not even well-planned out or executed boring background noise (ex: elevator muzak), just boring music that’s boring enough to make everything else I’m experiencing seem more bland.  And you’ve never really incited my imagination, which saddens me.  I’ve tried so hard to like you.

With a name like SerpentCult, I expected some wicked awesome black metal, or blackened thrash, or some hideously bludgeoning death metal.  Really something, anything, other than what you’ve delivered, which is sludge.  Okay, I can deal with that.  Generally not my cup of tea but there’s good to be found in anything if it’s well done. If I had to guess, I’d say you like The Melvins and Neurosis  and that’s cool too. Whatever it is, you seem to be trying hard to give this music some depth, which is commendable.  But to these ears, Raised by Wolves is superficial.  I mean, with four tracks approaching 10 minutes each, it’s reasonable to expect some substance to surface…otherwise, what’s the point, right?  But I’m not getting it.  These nearly 10 minute passages (especially with “Crippled and Frozen,” which is sadly a kick-ass title that sadly doesn’t translate to your music) are — I hesitate to word the word excruciating — really too much.  You gotta know when to throw in the towel.

Now, it’s not all boring.  “Growth of the Soil,” your closer, has some killer moments of dissonance and anger.  The intro of the tune building, growing like a cancer, exploding into a full-on black metal rage assault with ties back to the roots of the song…fuck yeah.  That is what the kids call METAL.  This sort of thing is what you should be doing the whole album, in my humble opinion.  It saddens me that I have to skip the first three-fourths of the album to get to this.  Why do you do this to me?  I could listen to that shit on repeat…well, if it wasn’t so damned long.

So, SerpentCult, where does this leave us?  You’ll mail me a postcard; I won’t respond.  Phone calls are out of the question.  All joking aside, though, anyone with a sense of musical integrity should be respected.  I’ve got respect for Raised by Wolves.  I just don’t want to listen to it.  Sorry if I’m just an asshole who’s missed the point, but this one will probably not get repeated plays from me.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jodi Van Walleghem
December 21st, 2011


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    the album sounds like it was not entertaining. however: the review, very.

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