“Holy Serpent incorporates a lot of great riffs, off-kilter tempo changes, and buckets brimming with originality constantly poured into its songwriting.” — Metal Injection
In the time since their self-titled RidingEasy debut in mid-2015, Melbourne, Australia’s Holy Serpent have gained a lot of attention for their rather punk version of heavy psych and metal. Their 2016 skate-metal leaning album Temples further defined their more experimental blend of early Soundgarden, Saint Vitus and Kyuss that eschews simplistic 70s-worship in favor of shimmering sonics and uncommon production techniques. Nonetheless, Endless is like all of the band’s earliest visions fully realized and honed into an album beyond easy classification.
Starting with the slow, exaggeratedly compressed 4/4 drum lead in to “Lord Deceptor” — something of a hi-dive anticipation before we plunge headlong into the ensuing depths — crushing and crackling guitars burst in as Penberthy sings in low baritone, “ocean grave, carry me upon a wave / I’m hypnotized in prophecy, what Is left for you and me?” Harmonies drift in and out of the main motif as it sways along into the tempest of “Into The Fire.” Here, a churning riff gathers intensity as the rhythm section builds to a lurching 3/4 time. Reverb-soaked vocals sing, “where the ocean meets the sand, I’ll be waiting, I’ll be waiting there.” Elsewhere, on “For No One,” impossibly low droptuned guitars slink along as the music swells with space rock abandon. Album closer, “Marijuana Trench” is a play on the Mariana trench, the deepest place on earth. Appropriately, the song plunges from gently strummed acoustic guitar into a tsunami crest that pulls the listener under the dark and enveloping weight of sound as Penberthy’s soothing vocals seem to ease us into the end, subsumed in the album’s powerful allure.