For those who worship heavy/power in the ever so distinct US style, SOLITARY SABRED must have been on their radar since their very beginning but especially after the release of their third album, “By Fire & Brimstone” where they delivered one of the best metal works in 2020.
Three years have passed and the Cypriots are back with their new release, “Temple of the Serpent”, and although the bar had already been set really high, they managed to surpass themselves once again, delivering an unbelievably good album.
I can easily consider it their best one; for sure, NOBODY will find it less than GREAT and it certainly has become my personal SOLITARY SABRED favorite. On a first listen, I was impressed; after a couple more hearings, I was totally blown away by it!
To begin with, “Temple of the Serpent” is a concept album of sword and sorcery, a tale of fallen realms and cursed kings, demons and monsters, a saga of torment and vengeance that takes us on a journey far beyond reality where magic is still strong and steel reigns supreme.
In order to serve the rich and vivid story which is the center of it all, the band evolved musically in a significant level. The improvement is obvious in every aspect, mainly in the development and the arrangement of their songwriting. They haven’t changed their sound but they refined it, making it more intricate and elaborate. Yes, “By Fire & Brimstone” has also been a remarkable release, no doubt about it. But what we deal with “Temple of the Serpent” is PERFECTION!
I really prefer not to go for a song-to-song review as I strongly believe that the album must be listened to as a whole – and the band did a TERRIFIC job creating a NO FILLER tracklist of IDEAL song sequence, having you hooked all forty minutes of the album’s duration. There is not one single moment, not a split second, to be ignored!
Demetris “Spartacus” Demetriou and Nikolas “Sprits” Moutafis create a magnificent guitar duo, paying homage to the sound of JAG PANZER, LIEGE LORD, CAULDRON BORN, HELSTAR, and even SAVATAGE. I relished all the sharp riffs full of technical aggressiveness, the amazing rhythm diversity and the wonderful epic melodies. There are also some ingenious ideas of atmospheric parts, folkloric and mellow but also unnervingly creepy ones.
Did I just say creepy? Well, that brings us to the one and only Petros “Asgardlord” Leptos who gave his best vocal performance ever! Soul-piercing demonic shrieks, blood-freezing banshee screams, sorrowful mourning and death-defying battle cries, whatever is needed for the story to unfold, “Asgardlord” delivers it flawlessly, proving himself to be the man for the job; theatrical, forceful and crystal-clear singing that is absolutely outstanding! One can easily hear KING DIAMOND’s influence but he as well reminded me of late John Stewart of SLAUGHTER XSTROYES and Michael Ιosifidis of SORROWFUL WINDS.
George “Stainlesz” Papaioannou on bass and Fotis “Defiler” Mountouris on drums complete the line-up and not only did they build the solid, massive sound on which all guitars and vocal lines are finely expressed, but also created an overwhelming feeling of pounding power – we should certainly give the credits to Nikolas Moutafis for mastering and mixing, he did a marvelous job indeed!
Record after record, SOLITARY SABRED have created their own identity and gathered a strong, loyal fan base; after twenty years of existing, they can rest assured that the band has reached the pinnacle!
“Temple of the Serpent” will be released on December, 22nd via Vinyl Store.
Please, do yourself a favor and ask for Santa to bring it for you under the tree. No BETTER present for Christmas!
Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.
You can pre order both CD and LP here.