Mouth of the Serpent – Manifest (10 January 2012, Swimming with Sharks Records)
Good afternoon, Valley of Steel reader. Or depending on where you live (or when you come across this post), good morning or good evening. If whatever time of day it happens to be is perhaps not so good for you, just bear with me, it’ll get better. I’m going to introduce some more music to you, and I’ve got a feeling pretty soon everything will be just fine.
For starters, just look at that cover art up there! Now that’s some cool shit, huh? It was created by Tony Koehl, who has been responsible for quite a few other album covers (check out this gallery), probably the most high-profile of which was Black Dahlia Murder‘s 2009 album Deflorate (as seen here).
Anyway, back to this present work of art. People say you shouldn’t judge what’s inside
a book or album or whatever, just based on the cover. Good advice, but not very practical in real life — after all, isn’t that why there is a cover in the first place? To give you an idea what you will expect from the contents, and to get you started in your decision whether you think you will like it or not?
Well in this case, the artwork definitely catches your eye, and that odd juxtaposition of themes could possibly confuse the viewer, but in a way that should leave you feeling curious about what lies within. ARE you curious, Dear Reader? I can’t quite tell what that giant swamp monster thing is doing, but it might be inhaling a tree — definitely it looks like it’s causing some sort of massive destruction. The creature itself looks pretty grim and brutal, like you might expect to find on the cover of some pretty brutal death metal, right? Then in the background, the scene is all outer-spacey and there’s like a transdimensional portal or something, exactly the sort of imagery that would be well-suited to some experimental tech-death music, wouldn’t you say?
I think you can probably guess what this is leading up to, and you’d be right: the material found on Manifest, the recently-released EP by Los Angeles’ Mouth of the Serpent, turns out to be an interesting amalgamation of all of the above — and much more!