Serpent of Chaos by Porta Daemonium

Release date: March 31, 2017
Label: Blood Harvest Records

The current incarnation of the band Porta Salomoniis in 1998 in Santiago, Chile, Porta Daemonium came to darkness in 2011, and has actively released demos and singles since then. They have just released their debut full-length album via Blood Harvest Records called Serpent of Chaos, also released on LP, and this death metal juggernaut on vinyl comes as a welcome accomplishment for the veteran band.

A first full-length album is usually special, as most bands live or die by their third albums, and a great debut album allows for any subsequent efforts to see the light of day. It’s special because bands have one chance at extending a career recording music, and a critically-acclaimed debut full-length album is just as important as the third make or break album in the first place. So many sophomore efforts prove to be lackluster, as a band may often stick to a formula or embark on a stylistic change before the band’s audience welcomes it.

Porta Daemonium’s Serpent of Chaos is brutal and intense, with few sections that can justify disagreement. Porta Daemonium is death metal of the old raw quality, refreshingly new in execution and tenacity, and welcome to a death metal compendium with few bands that can groove and blast with the best of them. The fact is, I was blown away by the conviction this band plays their music with. They send monoliths cascading down mountains. They play mid-tempo sections with catchy accessibility few bands can summon for each of its eight or more tracks. While it may be formulaic for Porta Daemonium to play a mid-tempo section on every track like old black metal bands also do, Porta Daemonium use groove with deft songwriting ability. The blast sections return shortly after, giving startled listeners the Heimlick maneuver to vomit their entire digestive systems clean.

The band reminds me of Angelcorpse on the blast sections. The excellent instrumentation shows a band with musical prowess fitting for bands that are hungry to release quality underground records. This isn’t carefully-crafted mainstream-metal-obssessed sub-par atrophy of the worst quality. Porta Daemonium weed out the feeble in today’s death metal scene. For a band so unheralded as Porta Daemonium, they undoubtedly come as a veritable newcomer to metal fans everywhere, and play music without apologies for trend-worship. They play with dexterity, but allow for some raw live sloppiness to breathe organic life into their compositions. They write their songs like they yearn for the destruction of innumerable temples, much like capitalism has allowed for trve metal fans to seek worthy idols and sending false mainstream metal fans flocking major venues.

Put this album on full volume and watch the posers run for the nearest bomb shelters. Porta Daemonium is a rarity in death metal circles these days. So many bands add doom to their destruction rituals; so many bands use rung notes in tribute to black metal. Porta Daemonium may not light fires big enough to push mainstream music bonfires back to the glitzy studios from whence they came, but Porta Daemonium plays music with conviction, tenacity, and quality hard for most fans to appreciate simply because they don’t claim to be the biggest and baddest out there. Get Serpent of Chaos on LP and experience armageddon.

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