And We Shall Take Up Serpents
December, 2009. The month that heralded the long-awaited release of Vessels of Wrath's second offering, 'And We Shall Take Up Serpents.' While a much shorter affair (this record is an E.P.), the music is much more robust, and the flow from track-to-track weaves a flawless web of atmosphere that is calming, with a sense of urgency. I found myself getting more and more into the album with repeated listens, picking a track as my favorite, then changing my mind each time. Opening song 'Sliver' is a fun experiment into the dual human mind, while album closer 'Angelskin' offers the trademark V.O.W. percussive metallic genius. In my opinion, the highlight of the record is 'American Gothic' for it's honest lyrical tongue-in-cheek statement of this country that we live in: The 'Land-Of-The-Free-To-Rape-You-With-A-Cherry-On-Top.' The song is just a blast to listen to, both for it's catchy originality and 'Type-O-Negative' inspired humorous sincerity. If it isn't apparent yet, I love this band. And I love their music. Vessels of Wrath are living, breathing, sweating, bleeding, honest examples of humanity-in-action. May the heathen gods bless them. To quote the immortal Brandon Dooley: 'V.O.W. are like the finest of wines. They improve with age.' Do yourself a f*%&ing favor and buy this album!