Monday, June 13, 2016
Inter Arma : " Paradise Gallows"
The third album from this Virginia band gets adventurous. "An Archer in the Emptiness" is pretty fucking heavy, but I would not go as far as to say this band really defies genres. This song is death metal. The vocals are lower and more brutal than I remember these guys being. Some of the Neurosis sludge tendencies I remember this band for begin to rise up on "Transfiguration". It does speed up into a little more blackened blend of death metal, but I don't think this band is really about bringing that brand of darkness. People who think Withered are death metal might think the same thing about these guys though. They sound much heavier when they slow down to smell the napalm.I do like how the song builds up at the end and this drummer is no joke. The drummer handles the skins for Windhand live, but he can kick up some speed. The guitarists and vocalist are from Bastard Sapling, so they are capable of bringing a more blackened flavor to the table, but I don't think that is what the bass player and drummer are really feeling. The vocals take on more of a sung tone on "Primordial Wound". There is more of a droning lumber here that might remind you of Atriarch. The problem with this being that I already own Atriarch's albums so if I want to hear them I'll listen to them. The vocalist is very versatile, so he gets props for delivering more than just one kind or growl or scream.
The singer delivers more of a Jim Morrison like croon at the beginning of "the Summer Drones" . This is the first song that grabs me as being something different. I liked the first actual song, but this one is just written with more personality. At under seven minutes this one gets to the point and doesn't try to live up to it's name and drone you to sleep, instead it hits the sweet spot where it's as heavy sonically as it is metal. "Potomac" is a well played instrumental, but it drifts into this second act of the album where things start getting post-metal on us. This leads to some bong fueled Pink Floyd like vocals on the title track. This eventually leads us back to irrefutable Neurosis worshipping. The guitar solo is the only thing that is not like Neurosis. "Violent Constellations" find them wavering in a stomping variation of blackened sludge. Things get weird midway into it as the guitarists start tinkering around. They begin to pull out weird chaotic mathy riffs.
They are really committing to the clean vocals on this album as they end with a song that is more like Nick Cave than any kind of metal. This album is very ambitious and they grew from all the chances they took with it. I'll give it an 8.5...Relapse is releasing this album July 8th.