An unlikely convergence yields unpredictable and remarkable results on ‘The Malign Covenant’ – 41 minutes of occult doom-infused black necromancy from the obscure and unannounced entity known as Verminous Serpent, a corrupt communion featuring the considerable talents of Slidhr mastermind Joseph Deegan, Malthusian maniac Matt Bree and Primordial / Dread Sovereign singer Alan Averill. This disgruntled trio of Irish underground inhabitants joined forces during the shameful and unforgivable state overreach of lockdown to record a unique and refreshing five-track album that oozes nastiness and grime.

First off, ‘The Malign Covenant’ doesn’t sound anything like the bands these musicians are best known for, nor is it a natural meeting point between those collectives. It’s something different altogether, veering off on a terrible tangent, with immeasurable malevolence and malignancy seeping through every darkened, dastardly stroke upon a burnt and blackened canvas. Insidious guitars set the tone for this, establishing a sordid and decrepit base around which the remainder of the album is contemptuously assembled.

Averill’s vocals are unrecognisable and this is welcome as he produces a chorus of demonic snarls and rasps that fit the music perfectly, Bree’s rather primitive but expertly delivered drumming is also the ideal accompaniment to Deegan’s glorious otherworldly six-string provocations. The overall result is a raw and intangible maelstrom of ugly, gnarly, doomy occult Black Metal worship, forged in the WEF-controlled hellhole that is Ireland but with one foot in Poland and perhaps another in the mass graveyards of Belgium.

A thrilling, surprising, engaging and memorable record from start to finish, ‘The Malign Covenant’ is a unique one-off gem conjured through surreal circumstance and devil-may-care creativity. Completed by extraordinary evocative artwork, this is a triumph for spontaneity and defiance in the face of adversity.

Evilometer: 666/666