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REVIEWS

 

ANGELS OF THE NIGHT

Permafrost: Inspired by Special Female Characters

Not only the lyrics of this album have a darker tone, but the music as well, it has more of a dramatic feel within the dynamics of the development of each story.

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THE SERPENT'S KISS

Progression Magazine: "The Serpent's Kiss" Review

Serpentyne… embrace galloping rhythms from the power-metal genre. Nightwish comparisons might seem unavoidable, at least initially. But by the fourth track “Jeanne D”Arc”, the fusion of Mark Powell’s hurdy-gurdy and Maggiebeth Sand’s angelic/operatic voice atop heavy guitar riffs confirms Serpentyne’s uniquely adventurous approach to genre bending.
Orchestrations thought “The Serpent’s Kiss” add cinematic majesty to compositions inspired by romanticized historical figures/events and mysticism. All is topped off by a gorgeous six-minute plus extrapolation of the “Game of Thrones” theme! What’s not to love?
**** (4 Stars) - Dewey Gurall, Progression Magazine USA, October 2016.

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Reviews for “The Serpent’s Kiss”


Formed in 2010 by Maggiebeth Sand and Mark Powell, the band’s debut focussed on mediaeval music styles with mythical themes, and pulled out some great vocal performances from Maggiebeth, supplemented by Mark’s hurdy-gurdy playing. It left them looking to book the same crowds as Blackmore’s Night.
Not wanting to be pigeonholed, the band added world and dance music to the follow-up, and now they deliver similar lyrical content but have gone down the symphonic rock route. Given that the genre is almost at saturation point (think hair metal in the late 1980s) to stand out from the crowd needs something very special indeed. It would be easy to argue that mediaeval music with world and dance music elements would stand alone and give people a reason to listen, but a lot of that has gone on this disc in favour of a true symphonic rock sound.
Lyrically, it’s business as usual; historic figures feature, like Helen of Troy and Joan of Arc, and the storytelling paints grand vistas as the history lessons evolve around you. Mark Powell’s instrument of choice makes a notable appearance, front and centre on ‘Lammas Night,’ and it’s from this point onwards that the individuality of the band starts to shine through once more. The gothic-tinged, folk-led elements that the band have become known for; adding arabesque elements to the mix, ensure that songs like the album’s title track really stand out. The bass work on ‘Salterello’ adds another layer, turning the song into a jig-along sea shanty.
The closing few tracks hold attention, as ‘Viking Blood’ leaves us standing soaked in red, in the midst of a battlefield. Similarly, ‘Brigantia’ inspires imagery of marching hordes.
After the fun of ‘Morrighan’s Jig,’ closing track ‘Game of Thrones’ is, as hoped for, the band’s interpretation of the theme music from the iconic TV show, and a great finale to a very interesting album. Rich in content and steeped in folklore, Serpentyne have thankfully managed to find room in the genre.
- Powerplay magazine, UK, February 2017

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Mystic Symphonic Rock…
Enjoy a long, intense kiss – with a forked tongue.
While the previous album, “Myths and Muses” was a wonderful interpretation of traditional tunes, the focus of the third album is on original compositions, with a move towards a rock sound. Even the well-known “Salterello” features grandiose electric guitar.
Serpentyne always favour the dramatic, such as “Helen of Troy,” the triumphant “Jeanne D’Arc,” and the instrumental, “Morrighan’s Jig,” which is based on the legend of the mythical queen from Irish mythology. Not to be forgotten – after all, the sextet is from Great Britain – is “Brigantia,” about the Celtic goddess.
The title track, on the other hand, has an oriental sound, and a surprising new interpretation of the Game of Thrones can also be found.
Through this fusion of medieval sounds with biting electric guitars and pounding drums Serpentyne develops further. The serpent has arisen!
- Claudia Zinn-Zinnenburg, Orkus magazine, Germany, January 2017.

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…Serpentyne… embrace galloping rhythms from the power-metal genre. Nightwish comparisons might seem unavoidable, at least initially. But by the fourth track “Jeanne D”Arc”, the fusion of Mark Powell’s hurdy-gurdy and Maggiebeth Sand’s angelic/operatic voice atop heavy guitar riffs confirms Serpentyne’s uniquely adventurous approach to genre bending.
Serpentyne smartly knows when to diverge toward keeping things fresh.
Instrumental “Saltarello” for instance, includes an unexpectedly jazzy piano solo.
‘Morrighan’s Jig” sounds like that collaboration Thin Lizzy and the Chieftains never got around to pulling off.
The exotically ethnic, celebratory “Lammas Night” (incorporating a traditional Croatian tune) will inspire wild dancing under the next full moon.
And melodic themes from a pair of traditional Macedonian tunes lend beguiling intrigue to the title track.
Orchestrations thought “The Serpent’s Kiss” add cinematic majesty to compositions inspired by romanticized historical figures/events and mysticism. All is topped off by a gorgeous six-minute plus extrapolation of the “Game of Thrones” theme! What’s not to love?
**** (4 Stars)
- Dewey Gurall, Progression Magazine USA, October 2016.

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…It all works rather well, this being showcased in the opening salvo, ‘Spirits of the Desert’ and ‘The Dark Queen’. ‘Helen of Troy’ is a melodic belter; whilst I just love pipes, with ‘Jeanne D’Arc’ featuring said pipes, this track bounces along rather nicely – one of my faves from the record in fact.
The pipes appear again on ‘Lammas Night’… another catchy up lifting track- surely it is about time for me to go out and light that camp fire :).
The mid-tempo title track has a kinda Middle Eastern vibe which is of no surprise, as the number is inspired by the story of Anthony and Cleopatra. The remaining five tracks maintain the bouncy up tempo feel… I am however, interested in the number ‘Viking Blood’ as it does sound familiar to me.
This album is awesome stuff and well worth a punt of anyone’s well earnt dosh! A great effort!
- Dave Smith, Ravenheart, UK, October 2016.

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“Tarja meets Solstice…”
‘Prog’ magazine, UK, previewing the first completed track from Serpentyne’s forthcoming CD, ‘The Serpent’s Kiss.’ November 2015.

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…an earthy, corporeal throb that goads the listener restlessly into movement… If you see the band live, be prepared to sweat buckets, but until then, this manages to trap a fair bit of the magic for your home listening pleasure.”
- Oz Hardwick, R2 Magazine.

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I really like this album and it may be my favourite release this year. Serpentyne is a breath of fresh air.
- Henry Schneider, Expose Online, July 2015.

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…As I listened to this CD, comparisons to the band ‘Korai Öröm’ often came to mind. I recommend listening to this album on headphones, so that you can hear the discreet orchestrations that may not be so obvious on speakers.
Perhaps I am starting to be a bit boring as this is my fourth consecutive 8-point review, but I can’t, and don’t want to give less.
- Metal Shavings Magazine, Hungary.

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…a masterclass in how it should be done.
- Gary Trueman, The Independent Voice.

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…a fantastic listen.
There’s a bit of an Evocation I – The Arcane Dominion (the Eluveitie album) vibe to it at times, which certainly isn’t a bad thing, and it’s an all-round well-constructed piece that draws you in and maintains your interest… but honestly, the album just sounds that accessible that it could well appeal to fans of all genres. A job well done!”
- Natalie Humphries, Soundscape.

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The passion simply oozes from this mesmerising album!
It is virtually impossible not to get caught up in this album as track after track is like a magnet it seduces and pulls you toward its dramatic encounters. Serpentyne are indeed a force to be reckoned with and offer some sounds that demand attention and will certainly get it!”
10/10
- Pagan Tordengrav, Demented magazine, UK.

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“The Middle Ages are not over yet. They still survive, suspended in an underground limbo populated by an imaginary of symbols, myths and legends. Now and again, they come to light inspiring artistic works and revealing an enviable originality, despite the centuries on their shoulders. The latest work released by the London-based Serpentyne can be easily ascribed to this commemorative process.
In this way, side by side with classical instruments like the cittern, the hurdy-gurdy and even the citole (the Medieval guitar), the band present modern ones like synthesizers and keyboards or exotic like the didgeridoo, the bouzouki and the bağlama (an Eastern lute).
Despite old Norse mythological themes (‘The Valkyries’ and ‘Freya’s Firedance’), Occitan music patterns (‘Les Garcon de Montagne’) and omnipresent Celtic references are still crucial elements when considering the band’s inspiration, what deeply marks the ensemble’s new compositions is the addition of a decisive electronic environment, which rejuvenates and revamps Serpentyne’s artistry.
In this way, Myths & Muses outwits the genre’s borders… thanks to its unpredictability, its eccentricity and its alluring dancey moments, it can easily intrigue music lovers at large.”
- Marco Canepari, Access All Areas magazine, April 2015.

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…this is an assured, polished and compelling release from a band that sound right at the top of their game.
- Andy Stout, Pagan Dawn, April 2015

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“Here’s a thought for the dullards in charge of the UK’s annual Eurovision efforts. Why not ask Serpentyne to sing for us next year?
I have no idea what the band would feel about that. But I do know that the rousing fusion of their beats and the ‘Game of Thrones’ vibe of their spectacular act is more in tune with broader European musical tastes than anything we’ve entered in the last two decades.
- Piers Ford, The Art of the Torch Singer, March 2015

LIVE REVIEWS

 

LIVE AT JOHN DEE, OSLO by BLETZ.NO
First I want to say a few words about the support band, because this is really worth knowing. Serpentyne comes from England and plays folk metal. Despite the metal anchoring, I heard a lot of British seventies folk rock in their music, which probably had a lot to do with vocalist Maggiebeth Sand recalling the vocalists of the era such as Maddy Prior and Annie Haslam. The music was clearly influenced by medieval music, and on the records (which the undersigned have not heard) apparently many guest artists participate on medieval instruments. Here the band members had to trot everything, and we - in addition to the more common rock instruments - got the touch of bagpipe, recorder and something that looked like an exhaust mop, but sounded different. Serpentyne  is worth noticing for anyone who is interested in folk rock / metal.

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LIVE REPORT: KISSIN’ DYNAMITE W/ BLACKRAIN AND SERPENTYNE @ THE UNDERWORLD, LONDON 18.10.2019
As I arrived, it was great to see people there already. Some of them had seen the band on the POWERWOLF tour; others were long-time fans of the band who had been waiting to see them in the UK. Whether fans were securing their space to watch the bands, buying their first drinks or browsing the merch; the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and anticipation.
The first band to take to the stage were London based SERPENTYNE. Sometimes when a band is a completely different style to the rest of the line-up, this can pay off massively or back fire immensely. Their haunting sound consisted of angelic vocals, brilliant guitar work, some energetic stage antics (one including the guitarist jumping on top of the drum kit) and orchestral pieces on the system. Overall, they were a great choice to open up proceedings.

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FRANKFURT REVIEW BY YVONNE OTTE, METAL AND HIGH HEELS
SERPENTYNE started at 8 pm – this was going to be a very long evening. The Medieval/Folk Metal band from Great Britain surely perform a unique combination. The band did a great job, and showed how multifaceted is their music.

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UNIVERSIADA, SOFIA REVIEW BY GILLAN, METAL HANGAR
SERPENTYNE came on stage first. The English impressing from the beginning with the combination of female and male vocals and the vigorous symphony power folk metal. The guitarist was the most active, and he lived in every played and sung note. The rest also showed a stirring attitude. The male vocalist, who was dressed in a black robe with a hood, was impressive and at first we did not see his face. With a voice coming out of the depths of human consciousness, he skillfully contrasted with the sheer, operatic, ladies' vocals. The singer showed not only that she can sing well, but also play keyboards. The performance was divided into two parts. In the first we heard the symphonic side of the band and in the second we enjoyed the folk metal. For their little time, the British demonstrated class, self-esteem, and contact with the audience, and were rewarded with applause and more applause from new fans.

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ALCATRAZ, MILAN REVIEW BY MIKE BERTOLI, METAL MAXIMUM RADIO
The honor of opening this magical evening is up to the Londoners SERPENTYNE. The band put it all together, bringing a fresh and entertaining Epic / Folk Metal to the stage, and the audience appreciates their commitment by reacting with applause and encouragement. The band has fun, slowly the audience heats up and when the SERPENTYNE close with "Morrigan's Jig" everyone applauds for a performance made with the heart!!!

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BATSCHKAPP, FRANKFURT REVIEW BY STEPHAN FERENCZI, FULL METAL FOTO
Serpentyne has a rather unusual style of music. Folk Metal with bagpipe and other old instruments, so far so good, there are some in the German-speaking countries (Saltatio Mortis, Schandmaul, Subway to Sally). It is unusual by the song. The singer goes towards classical music / "Symphonic". Altogether unusual and a bit getting used to but also interesting. Lighting technology, it was rather usual support band-dark.

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ALCATRAZ, MILAN REVIEW BY MARCO GIONO, METAL HAMMER
To open the evening there will be the Serpentyne coming from London. Their is a symphonic metal / rock with strong Celtic / folk influences that has found its own well-defined dimension in the third album entitled 'The Serpent's Kiss' of 2016. Now we just have to go and see how things went in that Milan, if the icy north wind is just breeze or something powerful and majestic. Serpentyne. What immediately strikes are the costumes of the English. The guitarist Lee Willmer is in pirate mode. Then there is the blonde singer with a beautiful presence and a bewitching voice. Finally there is a guy who plays the bagpipe and among them a dancer. And above all the music, that tells the stories such as the  beautiful 'Jeanne D'Arc' or 'Helen of Troy'. Listening to them is really a pleasure through to the final instrumental 'Morrighan's Jig', which seems to incite a party. The public appreciates and is fascinated by the Serpentyne show.

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ESSIGFABRIK, COLOGNE REVIEW BY YVONNE OTTE, METAL INSIDE
Although it is a co-headline tour, As support the Finns had SERPENTYNE, a medieval / folk / metal band from the UK. The music of SERPENTYNE is something special. The Middle Ages is generally not for everyone, but the band manages to make this particular music "everyday". In the foreground the classical singing of singer Maggiebeth. A truly unique combination of genres that was well received by the audience. The tour has been going on for a while and the loyal fans are traveling, so of course they love SERPENTYNE and give their energy during the performance; you could tell, how much the audience liked it. All in all a great start to the evening of the "Nordic Symphony"

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UNIVERSIADA, SOFIA REVIEW BY WEROCK, BULGARIAORIGINAL
The beginning of the concert featured the music of Serpentyne. Stratovarius and Tarja Turunen have repeatedly conquered the hearts of their Bulgarian admirers. Serpentyne, however, was something new, there was an element of surprise, especially since it turned out that their music perfectly matched Tarja's. Serpentyne made a good impression as a powerful, energy-swirling gang. The singer said she was truly honored to participate in the A Nordic Symphony tour of Tarja and Stratovarius. Honestly, it was obvious to the audience, who was able to applaud the "Serpentyne" throughout their 40-minute set. Serpentyne conquered the stage and perfectly fulfilled their task of warming fans for the rest of the show.

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BACKSTAGEWERK, MUNICH REVIEW BY CIMDDWC
A concert report from yesterday (18.10.2018) in the Backstage plant in Munich from the "A Nordic Symphony 2018" tour of Tarja and Stratovarius with the opening act Serpentyne: With more, sometimes less folk, sometimes with bagpipe, always
powerful and stirring, Serpentyne were a good start and certainly in the top 5 of the supporting acts, which I did not know before.

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CAPITOL, HANNOVER REVIEW BY COUNT YOUR BRUISES
They are supported by the five heads of the British band Serpentyne. As part of the "Nordic Symphony" tour, the Finnish voice legend Tarja Turunen, together with power metal giant Stratovarius, also from Finland, visit the event center Capitol at the Black Bear in Hanover. They are supported by the fBritish band Serpentyne. The London quintet around vocalist Maggiebeth Sand performs a unique blend of symphonic and folk metal, featuring, among other things, their own version of the Game Of Thrones theme, mixing electric guitar sounds with the sounds of medieval instruments.

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MATRIX, BOCHUM REVIEW BY EVENTREPORTS-ONLINE
The Symphonic / Folk / Metal band from England went to great lengths to bring the previously rare audience into the mood. After a few songs and the use of a bagpipe the audience got warm.

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KLUB STUDIO, KRAKOW REVIEW BY WOJTEK TOMCZYK, OVERDRIVE
Along with Stratovarius, the opening band Serpentyne was all too eager to kick things off for the legendary acts. The band put on their best show, with guitarist Lee Wilmer going nuts on stage, supported by the tight performance from drummer and bass player Nigel Midleton and John Haithwaite respectively. As they opened the show, vocalist Maggiebeth Sand came out and starting bellowing out incredible operatic vocals reminiscent to that of Tarja, and it made complete sense as to why they were picked as opener on their tour. The most intriguing part about this set was that they split it into two sections: the first being symphonic metal and the second being folk metal; and it worked. Complete with backing vocalist Vaughan Grandin laying out his all on the bagpipes (yeah, bagpipes), the band kept the crowd incredibly engaged and almost guessing what they’re going to do next, and for that I have to commend their talents and creativity.

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REVIEW BY REDAKTEUR THEO, BURN YOUR EARS
With its red curtains, theatrical balconies and creaky wooden floorboards, the night theater lives up to its name and is predestined for a symphonic metal show. The British symphonic rockers music, infused with folk and world music, is well received. The troupe is met with great applause, while the package of band shirt and album goes over the counter of the merchandise many times.

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UNIVERSIADA, SOFIA REVIEW BY KRASSIMIR ANGELOV, DNES,BULGARIA
A special guest at the concert was the British symphonies SERPENTYNE, who set the strike beginning, and shortly after the end of their set very quietly mingled with the audience, where they were shooting with fans and watched the show of STRATOVARIUS and Tarja.

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ORION CAMPINO, ROME REVIEW BY PAOLO D'ANTONA, METAL FORCE
The October 16th was an unmissable evening for all lovers of symphonic metal. The first of the two Italian stages of the European tour that sees Tarja and Stratovarius as co-headliner touches the Orion of Ciampino for a concert in symphonic shades, but also appealing to different musical palates, from the more rock Tarja to the Stratovarius power metal, up to the opening band of the evening, the Serpentyne, that propose a sound closer to folk. It's just after 7 pm when the Serpentyne Londinesi enter the stage dressed in black with a lot of slacks and hoods. The band is here to promote their album "The Serpent's Kiss". The vocalist Maggiebeth Sand, whose ethereal and at times narrative voice is one of the most distinctive features of the band's sound, greets the audience with a delicate Italian saying she is happy to be here for the first time. And so, they start with “The Dark Queen." The band then leads us by the hand through songs that narrate mythological and historical stories like "Helen Of Troy" and "Jean D'Arc." Following "Helen Of Troy" we have an intermezzo in full Celtic folk style, with kilts, flutes, bagpipes, drums and dancers on stage. Overall a band that in some ways reminded me of the German Haggard.

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ALCATRAZ, MILAN REVIEW BY FEDERICO CERIONO, METALPIT
Serpentyne tell us stories of myths of the past in different tracks such as "Helen Of Troy", creating a truly engaging and festive atmosphere. We can only be fascinated right away!

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ALCATRAZ, MILAN REVIEW BY MICHELA VECCHIA, PANORAMA
Opening the concert the Serpentyne, an English folk metal band with Maggiebeth Sand, wearing a long dress in antique style. Their sound is interesting, a mixture of folk, medieval music reinterpreted in a modern key with the aid of uncommon instruments in rock, such as bagpipes and tambourines.


GARAGE, SAARBRUKEN REVIEW BY VON ANDREAS, WAVE OF DARKNESS
The Finnish musicians were supported by folk metal band Serpentyne this Thursday evening. Serpentyne musically blend into the genre: a female singer with an operatic voice, mystical tales and a melodic but hard metal sound.

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ESSIGFABRIK, COLOGNE REVIEW BY YAGALOO TV
Serpentyne appealed to me very much. The style of the band at first reminded me a little bit of medieval bands like "Faun", but with a much tougher musical impact. The singer Maggiebeth Sand, a trained soprano, I liked vocally very well. And I also liked the music directly. The first three songs were then dominated by the voice of the singer. But that the band also has a lot of instrumental skill in the box, which was demonstrated when an instrumental piece came, first with a traditional Scottish bagpipe, then with an electric bagpipe. My favourites were "Lammas Night" and "Morrighan's Jig", but I liked all the songs so much, that I ordered the CD right away.

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TOUR REVIEW BY CLAUDIA BLACK, PEEKABOO MAGAZINE, BELGIUM
Serpentyne Tour October/November 2018 supporting Stratovarius and Tarja. I have just spent 5 days travelling around central Europe with Serpentyne who are on a 22 date tour opening for Stratovarius and Tarja. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience but very tiring!! Late nights and early mornings followed by endless hours on motorways that at times could be monotonous whilst at others I gawped in awe at the scenery!! Five band members, the merchandiser and me all squeezed into this van. Surprisingly all this passed off with good humour and camaraderie. And now to my review...
Serpentyne played in some big venues in front of crowds that were not familiar with their output but on the shows I went to (Milan, Munich, Innsbruck, Prague and Berlin) the crowds were quickly won over by their infectious melodies and charisma and in return gave them deserved encouragement! The band members exude a self assurance and easy confidence. Vocalist Maggiebeth Sand seemed to click into a groove, and knows how to banter with the audience.
The Forum Karlin in Prague was the biggest venue they played on the tour with a capacity of 3000. The band was very well received there and Vaughan Grandins bagpipes enthralled, giving their set some difference compared to the joint headliners. When listening to the set in a bigger venue where sound has space to breath some earworms start to assert themselves on my conciousness!! To the point where I woke up either with Serpentyne's ''Spirits Of The Desert'', ''Helen Of Troy'' or ''Llammas Night'' whirling around in my brain and no matter how hard I tried to get rid of these tracks from my mind they would not go. That is how strong these tracks are!
Everything had to be perfect on and off the stage from showing up at venues on time, setting up on time, sound checking on time, every minute detail had to be just right. Serpentyne did this with minimal fuss! Professionalism was the key!
After Berlin I had to leave the band and fly home, but I hope the remaining shows in Poland, Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria are as good as the preceding ones! Let's hope that the future is one of many successes where Serpentyne are no longer openers for established acts!

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