Last year we saw the British myth-rock band SERPENTYNE performing live at the Wellingborough Medieval Festival.
When we reviewed their second album “Myths and Muses”  we described their evocative hymns as “Mesmerizing and completely arresting world-folk — performed with zeal and passion…”
Now we are pleased to review their third “The Serpent’s Kiss” —
“Helen Of Troy” the first of a series of tracks taken from this most recent album was released last summer [on the cover CD of Prog Magazine] and is based on the well-known Greek legend from the Iliad.
Helen, Queen of the Spartans was seduced and taken to the city of Troy.
A thousand ships and a champion were sent to rescue her. This song has been described [by fans] as sounding like “Tarja [Turunen] singing a Robert Plant song…”
If you enjoy Celtic legend-spinning, prog-rock majesty and lyrical, female fronted epic-fantasy you should find Maggie-Beth Sand’s lightly operatic voice — soaring across authentic folk sounds — very agreeable. But beware, the power ballads on this disc possess jaunty ethnic rhythms and bouncy histrionics — so if you’re not particularly fond of the “Eurovision sound” it might be best to look away now…
The new album opens with “Spirits Of The Desert” and the evocative swirl of sandy rhythms and shifting silks of orchestration. It’s as if Blackmore’s Night had been hijacked by the Alestorm boys and Candice had been forced to perform an embarrassing jig.
If you’re a fan of Rick Wakeman’s “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” then the track “The Dark Queen” should satisfy you. The English Renaissance brought about the emergence of fine instrumental music [and therefore we would preferred to have heard harpsichord on this] — this song is composed in the same tradition… though you might think it’s fine tavern fayre — but hardly something you’d hear in Court at King’s Landing.
We heard the battle-cry “Brigantia” played live at the Wellingborough Festival last summer and thought it was a rousing piece. Sand’s characteristic vocal is melodramatic and the hurdy-gurdy comes clear across the fells and pikes.
This is for lovers of renaissance music, impassioned minstrel-play and traditional folk songs that seem latched inside darkened accumulations of neoclassical metal.