Active since 2008, SERPENT ASCENDING is the solo project of Jarno Nurmi, a musician with a past in DESECRESY, SLUGATHOR, NERLICH and other Finnish death metal bands. SERPENT ASCENDING has always been Nurmi’s personal probe to sink into the esoteric and the occult, and on the new album “Hyperborean Folklore” it is used to plumb Fennoscandian mythologies, drawing on fascinating poems from Kalevala and other ancient texts for the lyrics.
After the seminal demo collection of “The Enigma Unsettled” (2011) and the blackened death metal debut of “Aṇaṅku” (2016), “Hyperborean Folklore” shifts the band’s sonic center of gravity even more towards epic metal. The death metal component is still there, but it is admirably fused with a heavy metal classicism that surprises and intoxicates, especially because it is combined with a melancholic vibe and a hypnotic – if not psychedelic – approach. Jarno Nurmi’s voice – now a piercing growl, now the solemn declaim of a bard – is thus lost in a misty red blanket of guitars, together with the senses of the listener.
“While Aṇaṅku had many shorter songs, now ideas are knit together more carefully to form larger song structures with more time to build atmosphere, tensions and ways to release them,” says Nurmi. “I have given myself more freedom to wander into directions that felt unsuitable on ‘Ananku.’ There are a lot of influences from heavy metal and black metal, progressive rock, etc. I feel that I have really managed to capture something more essential than before.” The cover painting of “Hyperborean Folklore”, the work of Tommi “Desecresy” Grönqvist, sums up the album perfectly: SERPENT ASCENDING ride in the night until the beginning of time, up to the mythical Nordic roots of Creation, to retell the epic stories and dramas of gods and men.
1. Growth Of The Soil (10:27)
2. Hyperborean Folklore (9:32)
3. Stállus Hideout (8:49)
4. Skaði’s Longing for the Mountains (8:28)
Total Time 40:00
GENRE: Epic Heavy Metal