Well, there were so many high quality albums that came out in April it was quite impressive. I had a shortlist of 20 that I wanted to highlight, but decided that 20 was a bit too excessive. So, after great pained deliberation, I give you the ten below… Continue reading
A new Inter Arma release is always welcome. 2014’s The Cavern was a stunning record that topped my end of year list, and although 2016’s Paradise Gallows didn’t ascend to the same heights, it was an album that I still deem as an essential listen, (and in hindsight should definitely have been higher up on 2016’s list). Continue reading
Now here’s an album that’s all about texture and atmosphere. Fringe is a cross between bands such as Neurosis, Inter Arma, Sea of Bones, and labelmates Jupiterian, to name but a few. However, on Fringe the band display their own dark personality, and are firmly convincing in their own right. Continue reading
Here we have a little over 60 minutes of music from a talented UK band that have only just properly come to my attention, despite a friend of mine telling me to check them out when this album was originally released in 2017. It’s definitely my loss, as Asheran is ambitious and huge in all of the best ways. Continue reading
Sloth Herder are a murky underground monster that’s slowly been rising up through the underworld over the last few years to claim its victims. With No Pity, No Sunrise, they’re finally ready to make their big assault. Continue reading
Well, here we have something that has a massive amount of expectation attached to it, at least from me. Their 2014 release The Cavern was a single 45 minute track that came close to attaining perfection. It was, quite simply, the best thing I heard that year, which is why it was my album of the year for 2014.
So, it’s with no pressure, (hehe), that I pressed play on their latest release, and let the band’s involved soundscapes take me away. Continue reading
After really enjoying their 2012 debut album Tomb of Feathers, this is a release that has been eagerly awaited in these parts.
The first track, Lightless, seems to slowly writhe up out of a dark pit of urban decay, attempting to smother the land with its malignant spread. It’s an insidious start to the album and before you realise what’s going on you’re trapped in a nightmare landscape of pitch-black smoke and evil.
But oh dear Lord is it good. Rarely has cloying, suffocating Sludge felt so visceral and nastily enticing.
Abstracter are heavy and grim in the best ways that Sludge and Doom can achieve. These songs are essays in crawling malevolence and destructive passion. The band emanate a very raw darkness that you can feel like a physical presence.
I like the combination of nuanced riffing, heavy guitars and brutally gorgeous delivery. Abstracter effortlessly combine the beauty of Post-Metal with the dirty horror of Sludge. Their songwriting skills are such that moments of ugliness and transcendence are merged together. When the shades of light and dark clash there’s only ever going to be one true winner, but even though the menacing and murky atmospheres encase everything, the light isn’t totally consumed; you can feel it pulsing, straining against its captivity by this Hellish beast. This tense undercurrent is what gives Wound Empire its hidden beauty.
There’s a Black Metal influence to their sound that fits flawlessly into what they do. It’s not overbearing and doesn’t detract from the Doom, it just adds a further layer of thickly encrusted grime to songs that are already intimately familiar with all things subterranean.
With each of these titanic monuments to apocalyptic dystopian futures, I think that Abstracter have outdone themselves and actually managed to top their début album. No mean feat.
With true depth of composition and a talent for wrapping the listener up in their vision of all things gloomy and heavy, Abstracter have produced an album that has blown me away.
Oh and did I mention that the entire running time is comprised of just one track? No? Well I have now.
I’ve not heard Inter Arma before, although I’m aware of them by reputation, so this is something that I was eager to listen to.
It starts off gently, with almost 3 minutes of soft, acoustic sounds, before the heavy guitars hammer down like Thor’s own wrath. Inter Arma play a highly talented form of Sludge/Post-Metal/Doom Metal. Ultimately it’s a Doom behemoth that takes in a variety of different genres and subgenres throughout the length of the song.
The Cavern is a very involving and captivating listen that has been masterfully put together with lots of thought to the weaving of the different elements into a complete tapestry of sounds.
Vocally, we get pretty much everything; cleans, semi-cleans, shouts, screams, growls; it’s all present and correct.
The song transitions through various phases and it’s complex and endearing. The band have invited a plethora of different guests onto the EP which only enhances the feeling of something truly special unfolding in front of your very ears. The guests all add something different, (female vocals, violins, synths), and their contribution is valued and integral.
The pacing and dynamics of this song are just astounding. This is the kind of Progressive Metal masterpiece that you always wanted Isis, Neurosis or Cult of Luna to do.
As the song progresses it takes in all available moods, from slow and despondent to psychedelic and expansive, to subtle and coy, to raging and tumultuous. This is an incredibly detailed journey into foreign soundscapes and as tour guides extraordinaire Inter Arma are well placed to blow your mind with their shockingly good display of songwriting. The performance and musicianship is flawless too.
Inter Arma take the Post-Metal template of the masters, (Isis/Neurosis/Cult of Luna), combine it with the extra-dimensional quality of Mastodon, layer it all in their own unique personality, add lots of individual flourishes and quirks and serve up scalding hot; The Cavern is here and it’s a delicious treat.