A Night to Dismember – Encounter with a Serpent (MP3, Datahex Records)

It’s probably fitting to follow up the post on A Night to Dismember’s Encounter with a Demon with the next album in the series, Encounter with a Serpent. Despite the title, the album artwork features a devilishly-grinning wolf’s head with the eyes cropped out.

“The Serpent” strikes with high-pitched feedback laid atop waves of static underneath, and the short track continues along this route until the wall of static takes over. “LSD and the Devil” begins with a heavily distorted musical riff that produces the euphoric effect of psychedelia before cutting back into another wall of harsh noise that explores multiple textures before the track’s close.

Another short track with “Blood of the Beast,” with an interestingly-textured wall with surging ripples underneath it. Alternating between unchanging static and screaming fluctuations of noise, this track is one of the harsher ones off of Encounter with a Serpent as the squalls smash the ears with abrasive force. “The Transformation” again features static walls with bassy undertones, sometimes maintaining the squall of “Blood of the Beast.” These two fit really well together before the longest track on the album, “For Now You Are One of Us.” The last track hits with a rumbling of analog sound, leaving out the static at first until it is gradually worked into the mix. A Night to Dismember alternates these two themes, sometimes using the rumbles and sometimes the static shards of the two tracks before it. Then the track cuts out static entirely for spaced-out, bass rumbles that sizzle and pop. These sounds always mess with my ears, and they’re dizzying to the senses. Towards the end of the track, A Night to Dismember blends the static shock and the sizzling bass together for one more freak-out session of high-flying terror.

Encounter with a Serpent is a bit more harsh noise wall-oriented than its predecessor Encounter with a Demon, but it still maintains the chaotic aggression of harsh noise and refuses to remain caught in one solid wall. There’s a lot to love on this album, but the finale of “For Now You Are One of Us” is really where the main draw is. Five short tracks of howling static sure to grab you, just as the serpent coils around its prey.

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