SEVEN HEADED SERPENT  Ophidian Mysteries 2021-2023  CASSETTE   (Crucial Blast)   9.00

The Ophidian Mysteries: Demos 2021-2023 cassette is a collection of all of the previously digital-only demo recordings from this outrageously cacophonic bestial noisecore outfit, along with a sixth, previously unreleased demo that appears here for the first time. Seven Headed Serpent came to me like a message from the ether; or maybe I had just Google-searched the words "bestial noisecore‚ÄĚ and this band was the first thing to pop up. Either way, this Texan outfit spews out a very specific m√©lange of ultra-violent anti-musical filth that I've been looking for. The only thing in the vicinity of this is the similarly-monikered "bestial‚ÄĚ noisecore of Acwelan, but there are clear distinctions between the two bands, save for their intention to rip the listener to pieces. Over the course of nearly three years, Seven Headed Serpent has been steadily issuing short, absurdly brutal blasts of noisecore via their Bandcamp page and disseminated through shady Youtube channels every few months. That first time that I hit "play" on their debut Awakened From Ancient Slumber demo, I was enthralled: here was the spastic bastard vision of venomous scum-blurr that I'd been searching out, an eerie and relentlessly hyper-violent maelstrom chopped up in twenty-second micro-blasts, an unholy fusion of early Oath Of Black Blood Beherit and demo-era Von style minimalism, and the old-school hyper-speed noisecore laid down by the likes of Sore Throat, Seven Minutes of Nausea, and Anal Cunt.

There's already a strain of noisecore-adjacent chaos that you can find in the "war metal" underground, but nothing like Seven Headed Serpent. The combination of improvisational pandemonium, ludicrous machine-gun blast tempos, and gruesome, bone-gargling vocalizations turns each one the band's demos into a bizarre ritualistic experience. Track after track of almost industrial-esque drum machine disorder and hideous, inhuman vocals are splattered with effects to the point of psychedelic meltdown, and yet you'll hear these "songs" sometimes drop into a crushing bass-heavy groove for a moment, or a more mid-paced Conqueror-like blast that jerks you out of the insanity. Those vocals from main member R. (aka Ryan Wilson of Intestinal Disgorge, The Howling Void, and Pneuma Hagion) can be seriously unsettling, veering between an echo-laden animalistic roar and disturbing whispers, garbled guttural shrieks and trippy incantations. Freakish electronics and blots of distorted nonsense blur with extreme anti-riffery and indecipherable guitar skree. Flatulent machinery collides with severely bestial grunts and bursts of insane guitar shred, while something akin to the sound of limbs being ripped from a torso keep emerging in the back of the mix. That drum machine element is strongest on the earlier demos, as from Naas on , R. was joined by drummer Polwach Beokhaimook who brought a less mechanical, more car-crash style blast attack to the Serpent's maniac slime-meditations; anyone familiar with Beokhaimook's work in key gorenoise outfits like Cystgurgle and Vomitoma will recognize the additional free-form percussive confusion and inhuman speeds that he brings to this mangled sonic abomination.

At this point it should be clear that if you are looking for "music", well, don't look here. This is base primitive chaos, an attack of acute, depraved disorder. I can't get enough of it. But what there is, it's all here. The Awakened From Ancient Slumber, Upheaval , Naas , Withering Storms of Howling Death , and Unleashed demos are all presented in chronological order, with the final set of recordings being Reckoning, a previously unreleased nine-track "demo" recorded in January 2023 and exclusive to this release.

This edition of Ophidian Mysteries: Demos 2021-2023 comes on red cassettes with full-color artwork, and includes a brief set of liner notes from C-Blast scribe A. Allbright.

Track Samples:
Sample : Withering Storms of Howling Death XI
Sample : Unleashed VIII
Sample : Reckoning III
Sample : Upheaval IX
Sample : Naas II
Sample : Awakened From Ancient Slumber XVI