Serpentshrine was founded in 2015 in Virginia Beach, VA, USA by Connor Randlett(guitars/backing vocals) and myself, Bryan Bosch(lead vocals/bass). The project began as an outlet for us to be able to take the parts of our favorite subgenres of metal, death metal and black metal, and make a sound that was truly unique. Our goal was to combine the minor harmonies and rawness of black metal, and combine it with the heavy and catchy riffs of death metal.
2.In January you had released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Our first album, "Besetting the Altar", came out with a clear black/death metal sound. The songs are interspersed with guitar and drum elements from death metal, black metal, and even thrash. As far as the vocals go, we do high pitch screams which are occasionally layered with death metal growls. Both myself and Connor have our roots in death metal, which lead to this album having a slightly heavier death metal sound. It was definitely a learning experience that went into getting the sound right, and we expect that as we continue to play and write music together, that it will evolve as our influences do.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The lyrics which we write, tend to focus on our discontent with organized religion and that part of society as a whole. We use dark imagery in our lyrics to try and paint this picture, whether its by referencing Satan and demons, or by telling stories of people that have been mislead and therefore damned by their faith and belief in god.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Serpentshrine'?
Honestly, the name Serpentshrine actually came from Connor playing World of Warcraft. There is a location in the game called Serpentshrine Cavern, and the name Serpentshrine just stuck with him until we started this project. We both liked that name though because of the role that the snake plays in Christian mythology.
5.While there was a session drummer on the album the band is a duo, are you open to expanding the line up in the future?
We are for sure open to expanding our line up, and only stayed a duo on the first album because we could not find someone that shared the same vision on what they wanted the band to be. We have recently begun to practice with a prospective drummer to add to the lineup. So far, he seems to mesh very well with our vision and is getting up to speed very quickly. We are excited to continue to work with him, and look forward to the possibility of adding him to our lineup.
6.Has the band done any live shows or is this strictly a studio project?
Unfortunately, we have not been able to play any shows since we lack a full time drummer. However, if things continue in a good direction with the drummer we have recently been playing with, we should be starting to play shows this upcoming summer.
7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We have been looking for a label to take us on their roster and still are, however we have put more precedence on the writing on recording process than this search. Currently, we have received a few offers, but those offers haven't been exactly what we are looking for. So if an offer does come around that is closer to what we are looking for in a label, we are very open to it.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
We have gotten very good feedback on a worldwide level to our first album, with a lot of fans living in South America. For the most part, black metal and death metal fans seem to grasp the approach we took in our music. There are outliers to that good feedback, but there always will be regardless. The group we have not received good feedback from is the true black metal scene, or "black metal elitists". They tend to not like Serpentshrine because we put ourselves in the black metal genre by being a black/death metal band. They don't see us as "true" black metal, and we admit that we aren't. We were never trying to be a solely black metal project, and we have far too many other influences to ever be a "true" black metal band.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We are currently working on an EP that is slotted for release at some point in 2018. This will be a much more atmospheric take on our sound. In addition to this, we have also been writing songs for our next full length album, which so far has a slightly blacker sound.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
As stated before, death and black metal are the biggest genres that influence us. The particular bands that have influenced us though are Dissection, Watain, Immortal, Gorgoroth, and Necrophobic. Recently, we have been listening to a lot of atmospheric black metal bands such as Wolves In the Throne Room and Agalloch. We have also been listening to a lot of rawer black metal such as Tsjuder, Taake, and Craft.
11.How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?
Both of us have always been really intrigued and fascinated by occult topics and the use of dark symbolism and imagery, this includes Satanism. Personally though, both of us are atheists and dislike the entire concept of religion.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
We both have very busy day to day schedules, however when we aren't busy working, playing music, or going to shows, we enjoy spending time with our families and being out in nature. Connor personally is interested in artwork, whether that is creating art or exploring and finding art that he likes.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
First off, thank you for the interview, we appreciate the opportunity to share a little about ourselves with fans. To anyone that reads this and hasn't checked us out yet, feel free to find us and give us a listen on Bandcamp, ITunes, Youtube, or Spotify. Feel free to follow us on Facebook to hear any news and anything else going on with the band.
ALL HAIL THE SNAKE!!!!