Some bands just get it right.
Inter Arma have been building towards a wonderful record and this most definitely is it.
It’s bleak and it’s beautiful. At turns joyously uplifting, at others crushingly heavy. I’m fucking enchanted.
Black metal and Pink Floyd are stirred in equal parts through soaring psychedelic sludge to create something unique and utterly compelling.
The songs are long (like 10 minutes long) but never test my patience. Instead this lets the band explore circular, repeating riffs until they reach escape velocity and tear a hole in the very fabric of the cosmos.
Longer songs like The Long Road Home build slowly into absolutely shattering climaxes. It’s well worth your patience.
There’s a powerfully rhythmic, ritualistic slant to much of the album but its most pronounced in the heaviest tracks, such as Destroyer and The Survival Fires.
Yet even at their dirgiest, we get streaks of colour and variety.
This is certainly not black metal. Yes there are shrieks, tremolo picking and blast beats to be found. But even at its most crazed, Sky Burial is just too sludgy, bass-warm and ringingly euphoric.
‘sblood (great title huh) shows they can do grinding, churning and chunky. It’s quite different to the rest of the album but still has a distinctive Inter Arma DNA running through it, as does the whole album, despite its genre diversity. Perhaps it’s the atmospherics, perhaps it’s the sense of abandon.
Who knows? I don’t want to deconstruct it too much for fear of killing the magic.
Oh the magic.
When Inter Arma hit the heights, my heart feels ready to explode with joy as I cling onto the mane of these sweating, heaving riffs as they gallop across hill and vale. I am free. I can feel. I am A–fucking-live.