Serpentyne -
Angels Of The Night

(CD 2019, 48:58, Hell Fairy Records HFR-001)

The tracks:
  1- Away From The World(4:30)
  2- Angel Of The Night(4:51)
  3- Lady Serpentyne(6:24)
  4- Follow Me(3:36)
  5- Lady Macbeth(5:01)
  6- Bring On The Storm(4:06)
  7- Aphrodite(4:17)
  8- Salvation(3:40)
  9- Seven Signs(3:44)
10- Boudicca(5:03)
11- The Call Of The Banshee(3:40)

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British band Serpentyne is certainly a very special band when it comes to the more regular releases of female fronted symphonic metal bands. First, the band led by the trained soprano Maggiebeth Sand combines strong parts of symphonic metal with folk metal. Second, Maggiebeth's songs deal with historic figures and legends, like Jeanne d'Arc, Lady MacBeth and Medusa. Another special aspect might be band member Vaughan Grandin, who plays the bagpipe, adding a certain distinguished sound to the band. Besides the two members mentioned, Serpentyne consists of guitarist Lee Wilmer, drummer Josh Haithwaite and bass player and vocalist on two songs; Nigel Middleton.

Musically Angels Of The Night is a refreshing album, where elements of bands like Nightwish can be recognized, but also the bagpipe and hurdy gurdy parts of a band like In Extremo. The albums opens with a fine catchy composition; Away From The World where both mentioned elements are perfectly fused in great orchestration and great playing. The quality of the first track continues all through the album, Follow Me has a wonderful guitar solo and the chorus is one that will shouted along when played live. A different kind of song is Bring On The Storm, where bass player Nigel takes over the lead vocals. Certainly, less folky, but the subtle use of bagpipe in the background works perfectly and connects the song to the rest of the album. The other song where Nigel leads is a nice accessible track; Seven Signs. This one combines folk with hard rock and reminds of a very, very metallic interpretation of Blackmore's Night. My personal favourites are the last two compositions of the album; Boudicca is a song that has a very clear sound, defining all the instruments perfectly, highlighting the hurdy gurdy and a dedicated Rammstein related guitar riff on the end. Call Of The Banshee excels in the layered vocal parts. Do I hear some throat singing here? Again, the crispy clear sound is what makes this track stand out. Perhaps the strangest and boldest song of the album, but it really works for me.

Maggiebeth and her boys released an impressive debut on their new label Hell Fairy Records and I totally get why they repeatedly are asked to join Tarja on her tours. Serpentyne is not the regular female fronted symphonic band, but one with guts and dares to be different.

**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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