Serpentine - Discography (2010-2015)
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Melodic Hard Rock, AOR | Avalon
Serpentine, the British quintet who burst on to the scene with two critically acclaimed albums in 2010 & 2012 including the Japanese charting A Touch Of Heaven album - which received a 92% rating in Burrn! Magazine - are back with their latest release and a refined line up. Classic Rock's legendary wordsmith Malcolm Dome says this about the band: "They appear to have perfected the knack of mixing sumptuous arrangements with enough grit to prevent them from becoming just a rehash of American ideals. Serpentine are very adept at writing songs with patient choruses and then giving these enough kick to deliver maximum impact. If they retain this standard they could be sailing very calm waters to success. At times they're almost Journey-esque. Close to being melodic rock paradise."
After a string of successful live performances across Europe alongside the likes of Ten, Skid Row, Crash Diet and FM cemented their reputation, plans for the bands third album were put on hold when bassist and founder member Gareth Vanstone had to quit due to a serious illness and lead vocalist Matt Black also left due to musical differences.
An exhaustive audition process heralds the arrival of two new recruits who represent the cream of the South Wales music scene. Vocal powerhouse Adam Payne (ex Tidal) was identified very early on as the voice to represent Serpentine's new era and he has been joined by former Triaxis bassist Owen Crawford whose playing on their acclaimed Rage & Retribution album mightily impressed.
Serpentine's new album (due Summer 2015) was produced by Ten's Gary Hughes whose work with Bob Catley and Hugo met with great commercial and critical success. The band also managed to secure Sheena Sear to mix the album (Magnum, Robert Plant, Diamond Head, TNT, Breed77) which has a harder and darker edge than previous releases.
The re-birth of the band will be heralded by an appearance at Hard Rock Hell AOR 3 this March and the band have just secured a slot at this year's Legends Of Rock Festival in the Autumn.
Together with a tour currently being planned for the summer with two other acts the band are back and ready to rock!
The bands origins can be traced to Cardiff, where in 2007 keyboard player Gareth David Noon and original bassist Gareth Vanstone were introduced to guitarist Chris Gould and a songwriting partnership was formed. Over a period of around twelve months, the band forged ahead recording demos with American vocalist Greg Flores (formerly of the Indiana-based AOR band Kamera) before parting ways due to distance related issues. The trio's attempts to find a suitable replacement vocalist based in the UK proved troublesome until the band were put into contact with Birmingham based singer Tony Mills, whose reputation with other melodic rock acts such as Shy and TNT made him an obvious choice for the band.
With a vast catalogue of demos already recorded during the band's stint with Flores, the four set about creating a new collection of songs in the beginning of 2009 for what would become their 2010 debut album "A Touch Of Heaven". Around this time, two additional members were recruited - guitarist John Clews and drummer Charlie Skeggs - to complete the line-up for the album's recording at M2 Studios. The album was produced by Sheena Sear and Mark Stuart, a well known British producer having worked with Hard Rock act Magnum as well as rock icons such as Robert Plant and Phil Lynott. Serpentine subsequently inked deals with German based label AOR Heaven and the Japanese label Marquee/Avalon and the album was released in March of 2010 to much critical acclaim, especially in Japan where the band hit number 72 on the HMV chart as well as scoring a 92% review in the rock magazine Burrn!. Prior to the album's release, the band confirmed that they had parted ways with young drummer Charlie Skeggs who was replaced in December 2009 for the video for ‘Whatever Heartache', shot at the Victoria Baths in Manchester, by Birmingham-based drummer Roy Millward.
In the summer of 2010 work began on the follow-up album, with the early demos being written including ‘Cry', ‘Forgotten Heroes', fan favourite ‘Philadelphia' and a track called ‘Crystal Eyes' which never made it to the final album sessions. In the December of that year, with the band geared up to return to the studio, Mills announced his departure following a heart-attack at a Norway airport but committed to finish the ‘Living & Dying in High Definition' album with the band. Not resting upon their laurels and with live work in the offing Serpentine quickly moved to recruit Matt Black, a singer working in the rock covers band ‘Six Of The Best' and who they felt had the stage presence and vocal range to pull off the Mills material live. As the band entered the studio to lay down the instrumentation they found themselves in the tricky situation of finishing an album with a vocalist already on his way out, while making preparations for the first live dates; Serpentine hit the road with Black in March 2011 first appearing at a showcase in London with Houston, and later as part of a tour with Crashdiet. ‘Living & Dying in High Definition' was released in September 2011 with sections of the press gushing that the band could well have "delivered the album of their lives". Festivals dates at Firefest, Hard Rock Hell, Rockfest Madrid, HRH AOR and HEAT Festival in Germany followed as well as tours with Ten, Romeo's Daughter and FM while Noon and Gould worked up musical ideas for their third album.
After having toured with Gary Hughes of Ten during the summer of 2012, the band met with him several months later in the north-west of England with their management to play him some of the demos they had amassed over the previous year to iron out details of a collaboration/producer role for their next record. A year later, and with the material all but finalized, Matt Black left the band citing his will to move in a different direction musically. A few weeks later and after a period of ill health, Gareth Vanstone also bowed out. Noon, Gould and Millward quickly moved to recruit Adam Payne, a singer who they had discussed working with and had seen live after hearing his voice on a track with his former band ‘Tidal', and prodigiously talented bassist Owen Crawford from ‘Triaxis'. The new look Serpentine entered Gary Hughes' Doghouse Studio in Blackpool to record what would become the ‘Circle of Knives' album. The band had also lined up Neil Kernon to mix the record, but after a short time working together the sound emerging from the mixes were not what the band had envisaged, and so Sheena Sear who had produced and mixed the bands previous two records stepped in to finalise the mix.
Payne and Crawford made their live debuts with the band at Planet Rockstock and warm up date at EVI in Ebbw Vale in late 2014 and the band are now approaching a release date for their new album ‘Circle of Knives' on AOR Heaven and live dates in 2015.
Serpentine - A Touch Of Heaven (2010)
EAC Rip | FLAC (Img) + Cue + Log ~ 414 Mb | MP3 CBR320 ~ 128 Mb
Scans (JPG, 600 dpi) ~ 104 Mb | RAR 5% Recovery
01. A Touch Of Heaven [06:05]
02. Whatever Heartache [04:13]
03. Lonely Nights [05:19]
04. For The Love Of It All [04:15]
05. Let Love Rain Down [04:14]
06. In My Blood [04:43]
07. Fashion [04:23]
08. We Belong [04:18]
09. Love Suicide [05:46]
10. Unbreak My Heart [05:15]
11. Bridge To My Heart (bonus track) [05:12]