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Weight of Light

(Rise Above; US: 27 Jan 2009; UK: 14 Oct 2008)

So good does Serpentcult vocalist Michelle Nocon sound on Weight of Light, that is immediately hits us: why have we not heard more female voices in doom metal before? As the Gathering and Theatre of Tragedy proved, having an angelic voice juxtaposed amidst the darkness can yield intoxicating results, but few women in metal have dared to plumb the dark, murky depths of doom. Consequently, while musically the Belgian band’s homage to Electric Wizard and Cathedral is straightforward and solidly executed, when Nocon enters the fray with her authoritative yet distinctly feminine howls, it’s elevates the music to another level. Sure, her vocals are a welcome respite from the guttural growls we tend to get from her male counterparts, but her charisma far transcends gender, at times sounding just as commanding as former Candlemass singer Messiah Marcolin, as displayed on “Screams From the Deep” and the colossal “Templar”. Best of the lot, though, is the throttling, insidiously catchy “New World Order”, in which Nocon and Serpentcult show the potential to become one of the best in the genre today.


Adrien Begrand has been writing for PopMatters since 2002, and has been writing his monthly metal column Blood & Thunder since 2005. His writing has also appeared in Metal Edge, Sick Sounds, Metallian, graphic novelist Joel Orff's Strum and Drang: Great Moments in Rock 'n' Roll, Knoxville Voice, The Kerouac Quarterly,,, and A contributing writer for Decibel, Terrorizer, and Dominion magazines and senior writer for Hellbound, he resides, blogs, and does the Twitter thing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

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