Monday, September 30, 2013
Inquisition : Obscure Verses For the Multiverse
Black metal seems to be at an odd cross roads as each album which comes out by the masters of the genre seem to be evolving further from the elements that have traditionally defined the genre. The new album by Inquisition is not different , sure it is dark and dissonant, but the speed factor has been slightly dialed back and the emphasis is on the groove of the chords these guys seem to drag up from murky corners of the underworld. The result is often beautiful. The croak of the vocals remains intact as the guitar does all the singing. The dense ambiance of Dagon's guitar tone continues to open portals of chaos.
From the onset of "Force of the Floating Tomb" you can hear a difference in the quality of production. The biggest difference is that the vocals are no longer left dry. The guitars are crisper but retain the pain. The blast beat comes across as only an accent here, which gives it more effect when it comes in, the Double bass of Incubus continues to hint his death metal influence. The melodic edge picks up on the riff to "Darkness Flows Towards Unseen Horizons", the blast switch is flicked for a moment in the verses, before the more melodic playing which has numerous subtle fills and bits of flash to color it. I do miss the samples that lead into the songs as it created an evil horror movie feel. This album does sound bigger. The solos are pretty impressive and something I am glad to see making a come back in the genre.
The title track has an almost Slayer feel to it. The groove possesses more swing to it alternating between their infamous ambient chords that ring out for moments before another assault . Their is much more attention to detail in the interplay between the guitar and drums which fit into one another like puzzle pieces. leaving no fill hanging out as excess. There's some impressive panning on " Spiritual Plasma Evocation" the riff hammers itself into place, while working on a similar dynamic of allowing the more melodic chords room to breathe. The drumming finds itself stealing the show more on this album for sure.
The straight forward pummel of " Master of the Cosmological Black" at times is almost thrash and then at other death metal, but still sinister enough to fall under the black metal banner in fact some of the dissonance in the melodic chords here remind me of newer Blut Aus Nord . "Joined by Dark Matter Repelled By Dark Energy" has one of the bands most melodic riffs , that is counterbalanced by bursts of speed. They toy with guitar effects on this one and Dagon breaks from his normal croak to go into a lower death metal growl for a phrase here and there.
"Arrival of Eons After" follow the epic formula these song seem to be taking , though it relies on speed more than some of the others . With the fine tooth comb they have gone over these songs with , this makes it feel like filler until the break down at the two minute mark. "Inversion of Ethereal White Stars" makes up for any aftertaste of filler the previous song might have left as it is air tight. The verse riff is really catchy, which might make the more morbid cringe from behind their corpse paint , but it's so well written its hard to fault these guys for it. The riff after what seems to be the chorus rings out in a way that is almost rock n roll, with out this taking on the punk element of what gets labeled as black n roll. It might be the best song on the album.
"Infinite Interstellar Genocide" picks up the pace into the blast mcnastiness, that in the context of some of the creative writing that appears earlier in the album almost feels like a cop out. The guitar tone here has a weird rubbery density to it . In this song the comparisons to Immortal rise up from their icy grave, where some of the albums earlier songs had buried them. The album closes with "Where Darkness is Lord and Death" that starts off in the familiar minor key churn, thats become their signature sound here.I like when this is combine with faster underneath to give a greater sense of movement. I'll give this album a 9 as it isn't as dark as some of their other work, there is still a great deal of growth even though some of the songs take on a very particular formula at times, which keeps it from being perfect, however I feel these changes in things like tone will continue to grow on me with time.