[28th January 2014]
[The Artisan Era]
01 – Those Who From the Heavens Came
02 – The Promethean Kings
03 – A Betrayal Unforetold
04 – Wrath of the Fallen One
05 – The Ophidian Form
06 – Prelude to Perilous Fate
07 – Destroyer
08 – Onslaught of the Covenant
09 – Marching Through the Flames of Tyranny
10 – The Ancients of Shattered Thrones
11 – The Path of Apotheosis
Not many people think of Nashville when the tech death is mentioned, but if there’s one band that could have the power to change that single-handedly, it would be unsung quintet Inferi.
On their third album The Path Of Apotheosis there seems to be one common goal shared amongst everyone in the band: total musical annihilation. It’s probably safe to say “mission accomplished”.
Some would argue that a lot of tech death sounds the same, but what that sets Inferi apart from their peers is not their incredible ability to just shred the hell out of their instruments, but their ability to craft interesting and dynamic arrangements, full of melody and meticulous detail.
Everything makes sense when you learn that Inferi features 3 ex-members of Enfold Darkness. Although this is very much a lead-guitar heavy album, thanks to Malcolm Pugh and Mike Low, there’s also some ridiculously sick riffing going on here; not just insane-o solos (check out “A Betrayal Unforetold” and thank me later).
Crushing moments are in no shortage throughout The Path Of Apotheosis, but the band are sure to add some welcomed contrasts to this with some clean/atmospheric sounding passages placed tastefully throughout, which after being brutally pummelled by raging guitars, bass, vocals and the super-human drumming of Jack Blackburn are a very nice touch. The epic choral bridge of “Destroyer” is a prime example of this.
The production – especially the lead guitar tones - is very impressive for an independent band; the album sounds grandiose yet tight and defined. The vocals suit the style perfectly with some guttural vocals mixed in with the mid-higher register screams and often layered for dramatic effect by lead vocalist Josh Harrell and bassist Nevin O’Hearn.
One of the only criticisms is that with an album of material this intense and high-caliber, it’s a bit much to take in at once; so many notes over so long a time equals head explosion. Perhaps the band could have trimmed some fat here and there to make a solid 45-minute album, but then again I’m not hearing much of said ‘fat’ anywhere and I’m sure they weren’t hearing it either! Another would be that there are some seemingly recycled ideas, such as the clean/atmospheric outros and fadeouts on more than a few songs. Other than some finely tuned nitpicking on my part, there’s really not a dull moment to be found on this album – as soon as your ears grow the slightest bit weary of something, there’s a ripping solo or clean section to the rescue.
A heavy and dark neoclassical vibe haunts all of the album’s songs with riffs and solos that conjure thoughts of Fleshgod Apocalypse and The Black Dahlia Murder in a three-way with the neoclassical shred-guitar maestro himself, Yngwie J Malmsteen - in the best way possible. A standout track, though tough to chose, would be “Onslaught of the Covenant” which is absolutely vicious.
Bonus points for stylish logo and cool cover art – a painted winged knight battling an…evil…looking…thing. If you are a fan of any of the aforementioned bands/artists and enjoy your death metal on the tech side, then Inferi are your dream-come-true. Wake up and smell the shred!