Review: Rifflord ’39 Serpent Power’

The build-up to opening track Serpent Power gives off an air of invincibility and of a band that know that they’re coming to entice, enthral and excite you with their raw, visceral energy. By the time the riff kicks in and the commanding vocals of Wyatt Bronc hit your eardrums, it’s a full-on challenge laid down by the quintet, that they are here to stay and command your attention.

Rifflord '39 Serpent Power' Artwork
Rifflord ’39 Serpent Power’ Artwork

And there is no let up again with the second track Ohm Ripper which is another powerful track from a band who defy logic, as they all live hundreds of miles apart across the United States of America, but you can sense the raw energy and passion coming through each note, and that they are determined to accomplish the improbable. With scintillating riffs from Samuel Hayes and Dustin Vano on guitars, it’s a twin assault set up to create a sonic landscape and break down barriers.

The bassline from Bronc on Blessed Life is a sublime piece of music and when combined with the down tuned guitars, orchestrated keys and abrasive drums, they bring back that old American West influence to create fearsome music. The songs encapsulate what you get from an initial love affair with substance abuse and the false freedom and power that eventually turns on the user over time.

an album on a path of destruction that will destroy and maim anything in its way…

The raw edginess of the music shows no signs of slowing down, with LM308 and the mightily impressive Grim Creeper which adds a slightly different dimension to the album, but still has that same, if not more, attitude to the song. It has that swagger to it, like it knows it’s brilliant, and showcases the band in an impressive light. This is an album that takes the listener on a journey of excess, self-destruction, self-realisation and the long walk out of the hell that is addiction.

Church Keys has a sprightly opening to it before the pummelling drums from Douglas Jennings Barratt force the song down another brutal path and all hell breaks loose from the rest of the band. With the band drawing blindly from the Secret Dakini Oracle tarot deck to determine their artistic trajectory, let’s hope they keep pulling cards like this, as this is right up there with anything I’ve heard this year.

Hoof and Tumbleweed bring up the rear of the album, but they are not there to make up the numbers, as both songs are full of that primordial energy that clearly drives the band. With keyboards from Tory Jean Stoddard, adding many layers to the sound, that both embrace and complement the intense riffs and pulsating rhythm section, 39 Serpent Power is an album on a path of destruction that will destroy and maim anything in its way.

Label: Ripple Music
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Matthew Williams