Review: Snakefeast – The Pythoness

Baltimore-based Snakefeast comes pretty much out of the left field for me. Basically, it’s a guitarless progressive sludge quintet. But none of that ELE bullshit (3 basses that do the same thing), the instruments are: a drum, a bass guitar, a cello, and a saxophone. That can be quite interesting, isn’t it? But instead, they fall just a bit short.

Honestly, this combination of instruments could make something so awesome, that it’s criminal to have let the opportunity pass them by, and instead do some pretty uninspired sludge. Don’t get me wrong, the bass riffs are amazing and the songs are well constructed. In the end, it’s even pretty enjoyable. But the cello sounds distorted, and serves as a kind of replacement to the guitar, in its own way, and I don’t even recall having noticed the saxophone so it was either not loud enough, or playing in unison with something else and didn’t make it through the mix, or distorted so it doesn’t sound like a saxophone anymore, or still that it actually plays so little a role in the music that it wouldn’t even be worth mentioning. Seriously, all I remember hearing, except the vocals and the drums, is the bass, which is heavily prominent and has a strong plucked sound which, again, makes it become some sort of guitar replacement. As for the saxophone, I just cannot find it!

In the end, it’s not an album that will redefine the genre, it’s not an album that stands out because of their peculiar choice of lineup, and it’s not exceptionally good either. It is, like I said, quite enjoyable for what it is, but if I had some suggestion to make, I’d say that it would be wise to exploit more the cello and saxophone as building blocks of the sound, rather than two wood planks nailed to a shed. Also, I have noticed a few (very few) moments of free jazz inspiration. Please, dig on that deeper!

If the album resonates with you however, then go on and support the band, they really are full of potential, but to me they just fall a little short of being awesome.