Three mm spine jacket, single vinyl, printed inner sleeves with special colors. Ltd. edition of 250 copies on golden wax with black haze.
Released on Pelagic Records.
"Right from the very start of opener “The Gathering”, Galvano let you know what the next 40 minutes is going to be about: a relentless onslaught of weapons-grade riffage. “Trail of the Serpent” consists of four weighty slabs of monolithic riffcraft that bring to mind all that is great in the world of sludge and doom. Imagine High on Fire at their most frenzied, squeezing their entire back catalogue into one album and you wouldn’t be far off the rich tapestry that Galvano weave here. There are also elements of Mastodon’s “Remission” glory days and the progressive crunch of early Baroness Eps.
The number of moments of quiet during this album can be counted on one hand. There are passages of gentle plucked calm reminiscent of Yob in “Following the Trail” and “Stench of Prey” but these merely act as the briefest of palate cleansers before the band roar back into full gear. While volume and distortion is very much to the fore throughout “Trail of the Serpent”, and the torrent of riffs never lets up, it is to Galvano’s credit that this album is always engaging. Each track traverses a number of different moods, tempo changes and subtle dynamic shifts so there is still a sense of light and shade even when everything is turned up to 11. The band also manage to avoid falling into the trap of writing long songs that sound like a number of unrelated ideas strung together under the guise of being progressive.
Everything here melds together perfectly with sections reoccurring and developing as the tracks surge forward. "
"The deep, dirty bass riff to ‘The Gathering’, the opening track from Gothenburg swamp monsters Galvano’s sophomore full-length Trail of the Serpent (Candlelight), intimates a Stoner pace but lends a slightly mournful edge. The ensuing explosion is a brutal, elephantine amalgam of Mastodon’s blistering Prog with Mattias Nӧӧjd’s roar, possessing the diseased phlegm of both Chris ‘C.T.’ Terry and Matt Pike. Rhythms fizz and pulsate, whilst riffs that should have the turning circle of the QE2 judder and flip on a sixpence. The crash is incendiary, the slower elements losing no urgency yet retaining that hint of melancholy.
The ensuing conflagration of ‘Following the Trail’ is savage and intense, burning as hard and bright as the harsher face of Yob, and unaffected by the lack of the Oregon trio’s mysticism due to the fulminating power and passion on display here. None of the four tracks clock in under nine minutes so to ensure this largely unflinching sound remains compelling is no mean feat. It’s one that the band achieve with relative ease; the fuzzed, coruscating riff and rolling drums segueing into ‘Stench of Prey’ with little distortion yet the leaden groove, pummelling yet metronomic, distinguishes the change alongside the tolling undercurrent.
Drummer Fredrik Kӓll’s pacy work is reminiscent of Travis Foster’s rhythmic battery whilst the intricate riff, bouncing off walls and sending sonic pulses into the stratosphere, takes the track into a wholly unexpected breakdown of ominous acoustic strings before recommencing the violence. The droning feedback and portentous beat of closer ‘Driven Snow’ briefly sends further change to the ears just at the point of a burgeoning fear that the rasping template is beginning to wear. This steels the listener for the final barrage of a quite electrifying album; the buzzing, building, claustrophobic coda of which is an utter joy.
Though short on chords there’s a Sludgy force here that will take your head clean off, the Stoner element thrashing it around as if in the jaws of a great white; whilst that small current of lamentation suggests it feels bad about hurting you.
Pensive, crushing, and bloody enjoyable."
"Trail Of The Serpent is a fantastic release! The intricacy of Galvano’s compositions while staying rooted in sludge is impressive and makes this album an engaging listen. The fast riff-based melodies constructed around the doom aesthetic keep the music interesting, adding depth and providing endless passages that are going to hurt your neck. Enjoy! "