Living and dying in High Definition

1. Deep Down (There’s A Price For Love)
2. Philadelphia
3. Dreamer
4. Love Is Blue
5. Where Do We Go From here?
6. Cry
7. Best Days Of Our Lives
8. Heartbreak Town
9. Nuremberg
10. Forgotten Heroes

Tony Mills – vocals
Gareth David Moon – keyboards/vocals
Christopher Gould – guitars
Gareth Vanstone – bass/vocals
Roy Millward – drums/percussion

A Touch Of Heaven (2010)


Sheena Sear - producer

Released 26/8-2011
Reviewed 15/8-2011


British rock band Serpentine will sound familiar to anyone who know their music, they have borrowed their singer from TNT and they have borrowed their sound from many known bands. They call their second album Living and Dying in High Definition which as good a name as the song called Widescreen by Xandria, meaning that the title sucks a lot. Serpentines first album was released in 2010 to raving reviews from the media which did not consist of Hallowed at that time since we did not receive music from their label at that time. The new album comes a year later and it has a ridiculous title, a good singer and a cliché cover artwork, it also has music on it.

It is difficult to not think of dozens of band that you think sound alike when you first listen to Serpentine but their music is the genre that is mostly called AOR and it gives a lot of room for the keyboards which might be one of the band’s traits, the music is otherwise melodic with the melodies and choruses being very catchy, the production is crystal clear and well polished just like it is supposed to be within the genre. The album consist of ten tracks and about 54 minutes of music.

Immediately there we find a problem, about 54 minutes in an album that feels quite a bit like a standard style of AOR, that is more often than not too much. So, add to the rubbish title an album that is too long as well, and while I am at it: has the band been on valium for the recording of this album? many of the songs feel very sleepy and although I like Tony Mills and his singing it feels sometimes on this album that he has sort of lost his direction and fallen into a snake pit where he tries to deliver perfect vocals while being bitten in his ears by cobras.

Maybe I am a bit mean to the band as I think half of the songs are still really good and three are great, the second track Philadelphia, the laid back beauty Love is Blue and the finishing Forgotten Heroes are these three tracks and if the album would have been like these or like the opening track along with the one called Cry, then it would be a great album no doubt. Thing is though that half the album consist of sleepy forgetful songs that could have been made by any band in the genre, sure they are alright but alright is what the genre in general is, most bands are good so alright in the AOR-genre is actually being bad. Fortunately Serpentine are saved from being bad by their really good songs on this album.

I would however not recommend this album for anyone but those who collect AOR music as there is so much better music out there, Mills’ regular band TNT for instance. Mills will by the way focus on singing for TNT in the future and has been replaced for singing duties by singer Matt Black who sings on the track that is included as a video in this review. TO conclude I would say that this album can actually be described as half awake.


Label: AOR Heaven/GerMusica
Three similar bands: TNT/Airrace/Ten
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
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