Part of Seraphim System’s Bandcamp description states that, “…SER:SYS architect “BL4KJ4K” focused his musical abilities to craft rave tunes that will help you slam your skull into your chest cavity.” If this is what the kids are calling “rave” music these days, I’ve definitely been missing out on something.
With Mutant Menagerie & Grimoire, their newest release, SER:SYS takes us down a dark and desolate path that would scare the living hell out of the glow stick crowd. From the opener, The High Priestess, to a very faithful cover of Slipknot’s Surfacing, SER:SYS clearly lays down the rule that says this North Carolina electro powerhouse ain’t nothing to fuck with.
One of the main things to notice about MM&G is the de-emphasis of melodic elements, focusing instead on uncompromising drums and profound lyrical content. Taking The High Priestess for instance, SER:SYS hits hard right out of gate lyrically and paints a vivid, articulate and somewhat disturbing picture. I’m still digesting such lines as…
“Nothing will ever change
Nothing new is to be expected
This is not what I wanted out of life”
The beat on Mutant Menagerie dips deceptively into drum-and-bass territory before distorted vocals belt out the darkly poetic lines…
“Misshapen and grotesque
Hideous form and flaw
Stitched together and born by lightning
Given existence from the minds of madness
This contagion spreads like disease Infecting any which come too close
Keep my distance and sanity
My mind never writhing with twisted form”
Contrition features Dark Machine Nation and is a sample of SER:SYS’s affinity for dipping into Latin for lyrical content; the other being the track Quid Est Veritas?. GRENDEL and Ratio Strain also make contributions to MM&G as well on You Do Not Recognize the Bodies in the Water and Black Aura respectively.
The title to Guns Don’t Make Goth Music, I Do actually made me chuckle a bit, but as I follow the voiceover listing different gunmakers concluded with the title line, I can’t help but think that this is SER:SYS’s make-art-not-war statement track.
I could go on, but only listening to MM&G for yourself will do true justice to SER:SYS and the unique in-your-face quasi danceable sound they have created.
In conclusion, Mutant Menagerie & Grimoire is a the kind of relentless sonic assault that grabs the listener’s ear and twists hard.