Still Remains may have experienced some line-up changes since the release of their 2005 effort "Of Love And Lunacy" but their relationship with European melodic death metal has only grown stronger. Striking a winding balance between countless whirring melodies and crunchy metalcore oriented riffs, "The Serpent" is an effort galvanized by maturity, though sadly somewhat lacking in creativity.
Although the production or mixing is not to blame, the band once again cater far too much their melodic side and inject countless emo-friendly rock croons into their craft which puts an overly glossy air on the material. Furthermore, the harsher build-ups once again seem to be mere placeholders for a sappy chorus to come in and swagger and this wears thin as the same formula is repeatedly played out over and over.
The instrumentation has been beefed up, especially with the increased implementation of clever keyboard parts and crisp guitar finesse. But with such a worn foundation serving as the blueprint for each song, this rather skilled take on it still offers up few surprises. "The Serpent" may still have some deadly venom, but it lacks the killer instincts to effectively use it.
(2.5 / 5)