The German band Calliophis is, as far as I’m concerned, a new name in the death doom scene, having missed their only previous release, the full length Doomsday, at the time of its release in 2008. In almost a decade many things are bound to change, even if in a genre like doom this usually happens in a less marked way, so it is more likely to see a greater focus on the sound, combined with a progressive attention to detail. Furthermore, signing to Solitude Productions is obviously a sign of quality for any band dedicated to the genre, and Calliophis are no exception. The death doom of this quartet from East Germany is decidedly not marked by melody, focusing instead on the cadenced impact of the riffs without disdaining, however, good solo solutions: the growl of vocalist Thomas is more harsh than deep and is well suited to a sound that always runs on the edge of maximum tension, wedging itself, just to provide a reference, more or less between Doomed and Ophis, always remaining in the German sphere. The six long tracks bring Cor Serpentis to exceed abundantly the hour duration, an insurmountable wall maybe for those who are not familiar with the genre, but absolutely in line with the expectations for the regular listeners. I prefer Calliophis when they push more towards the funeral side, as it happens in the magnificent Edge Of Existence, but things are not bad at all even when, on slightly faster rhythms, a certain pathos is evoked (Seven Suns), or when the doom is essentially shown its nature of slowed down heavy metal through the sparse and measured melodic cues (The Cleansing and Isolation). Cor Serpentis is a work of great compactness and quality, which perhaps lacks the emotional peak capable of fatally attracting the fan, but which still offers an interpretation of the material well above average.

2017 – Solitude Productions