Serenity In Murder is a female-fronted Japanese melodic death metal band from Tokyo, formed in 2009. The band, whose name is take from the 1995 Slayer song, is Emi (vocals), Freddy (lead guitar), Ryuji (lead guitar), Shuntaro (synthesizers), Takumi (bass) and Shohei (drums). Canadian heavy metal magazine BW&BK described them as “a mix of Arch Enemy, Hatebreeder-era Children of Bodom, early Blood Stain Child, and a shot of Iron Maiden.” When I listen to Emi’s death growls I imagine that a demon has resurrected and possessed the body of legendary female samurai warrior Tomoe Gozen with the nefarious purpose of fronting a metal band bent on world domination. Well, it works for me. Anyway, using melodic together with death metal is kind of conflicting since death metal isn’t exactly melodic by design, but Serenity In Murder, in fact, plays very harmonious, complex death metal. The genre’s basics (growling vocals, tremolo guitar picking, double kick drumming, minor keys, etc.) are all there, but, the music is not tuneless, and the songs would work even if Emi preferred melodic vocals over death growls. Emi, by the way, growls in English.
Serenity In Murder‘s excellent debut album, The First Frisson Of The World (2011), is probably my favorite release from any female-fronted death metal band (Arch Enemy considered), ever. Most death metal bands I can take only in small doses, one song or two at a time, but I can listen to this album from start to finish, over and over again. The title track opens the album with a burst of synthesizers, reflecting the band’s symphonic metal influences, before the dual guitar attack kicks in. But, the synthesizers are just added textures over the rest of the album. “Requiem”, this album’s first best track, is darker, more somber, and ends, appropriately, in thunderstorm sound effects, and into this album’s next best track, “Defenders Of The Faith”, which opens with reverb-drenched staccato guitar picking like Dick Dale gone death metal. Awesome! “Horn Of Ending”, “Infact Bellum” and “The Holocaust To Dead Line” are all crunchy power metal rockers, while “The Tragedy” is another somber track with a thrashy riff and a moody synth. So, only “Defamiliarization” and “In Hell Of Heaven” remain, and both are as badass as the rest! If more death metal was this good, I would definitely be a bigger fan of that genre. Hopefully, Serenity In Murder will give fans something new in 2013.
Watch Serenity In Murder perform live here:
2011.09.14 – The First Frisson Of The World (Spiritual Beast) [Album]