Serpents – Scongiuri (2019)

“Welcome to the asylum.” That was the message of Serpents’ Scongiuri.

A grotesque project of the duo, Karyn Crisis and Luciano Lamanna, it was an album which intend to knock on your ears and present its uncomfortable pieces. With four disquieting tracks, this is a trauma you cannot cure. Digitally released on June 21st, and again in limited edition on August 23rd, this ought to confuse your senses and any reasoning you have left.
Heart Of Darkness began with the question which woke you up. “Where are you?” There, you scrambled to your knees. The opening of the song, it was electronic, acrid breaths of whispers fly so swift from where you are and you listen more. What is this, echoes inside the walls? There was a psychotic tone from the music. An effective background. Good for the concept the artists were targeting on. Now, you try to use your body, but what— a straitjacket? Try the door. It’s locked? Try it again. Now, you hear a gentle hush of a female voice. It almost sounded like a cradle-song. Who was she putting off to sleep?

Ombelicale was you finally throwing yourself against the door in success. You walk through the corridors. The song here resembled a metronome. Tick and tick. It was hypnotic. You find the worst version of an abandoned asylum. There is a piano now, giving off a deadly scent. Poetic in nature, but morbid enough. There were also shrills of electronic phrases. This contained a different voice. An instruction which disconcerted your pulse out-of-sync. “Try to escape.”

But someone else is in the song. Who is that? Run.

Rattle The Waters was a melodic series of moans. You have been caught. Your limbs and neck strapped upon an operating table. You scream, but the song muted yours. There is a maniac man in a lab coat. This track was gruesome. You could hear the spoken gibberish of a masculine voice. Twisting your head in a panic, you see a line of other patients, sitting together as if they couldn’t think for themselves. They were alive perhaps, but not whole. Where are the rest of their bodies? The man keeps repeating the same word as a scalpel glinted in the light. Before the four minute and fifty-two second scene ended, you realised what it told you. “Go and scream.”

Janua Inferi was a séance. You hear the masculine voice again, unable to grasp what it meant. There were persistent whisperings that crowded your subconscious. You wake up this time, as one of the collection. The doctor, your master, had done something worse than a lobotomy. Missing all fingers. An eye sock hollow. Your face stitched into a lurid smile. There is that female falsetto again. You hum along. All is fine. You can still walk and haunt these walls. You know that this lullaby is not one which offers sleep, but wakes up damaged living things as you. “Wake up.”

Scongiuri is simply a trauma. This is an album you must beware of. It was perfect to make horror houses realistic. The consistency of the macabre was there. The ear-splitting electronic sound and mellow hiss of the singers can crawl into your skin. It was impressive for the field as it was capable of leaving a long-term effect. My concern is only how they could recreate this atmosphere at a live show.

Schizophrenic music is what I would name it. It could very well distort your thinking, particularly if you dared to listen to it during a grave and malignant night. And you’d find yourself throwing an immediate glance over your shoulder just to be certain no one else is there.
No one?……… then who is that?


Review by Estefan Malgret.

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