Inter Arma - Sulphur English review




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Band: Inter Arma
Album: Sulphur English
Release date: April 2019


01. Bumgardner
02. A Waxen Sea
03. Citadel
04. Howling Lands
05. Stillness
06. Observances Of The Path
07. The Atavist's Meridian
08. Blood On The Lupines
09. Sulphur English


Every time you think you've had Inter Arma all figured out, they come out with more tricks up their sleeves.

Inter Arma is another one of those bands that defy easy categorization. You've had post-metal, black metal, sludge metal, progressive metal, and doom metal, and some folk in there as well, all making up some very interesting and dynamic journeys with an expansive vision through the apocalyptic landscapes that they've created. And when it's said that no album sounds like their others, it's fucking meant. Even though each of their albums has some absolutely crushing riffs, I don't think I remember them being as crushing as on Sulphur English.

I knew Inter Arma to be heavy, but even so I was immediately struck by "Bumgardner" and almost thought that I played the wrong album. This felt like some of the filthy death-doom that we've been hearing a lot of lately, but there was a clearly different feeling. There's a post-metal ethos throughout that the death-doom has been run through, but it is clearly not post-metal. No post-metal sounds that heavy. For a while, all the alluring psychedelia and the mellow fuzziness that was part of Paradise Gallows is gone. There may be more of that later. But for now, the band jumps in between Ulcerate and Tomb Mold.

And even with the strong death-doom sound, you can take a lot of different songs on the album and they wouldn't sound like they were made by the same band, with each having either a more atmospheric or a more crushing focus. Sometimes even different sections of the same song feel that way (see "The Atavist's Meridian"). But they totally were made by the same band, and it's amazing to think that all this was covered by just one vocalist. Even more so, even with it sounding like the album should feel disjointed, it really does not; instead it feels like Inter Arma can just seamlessly weave anything they want into their music and it would work. Watch them weave some 808 trap beats and death industrial into their follow-up and it would still feel natural. Okay, maybe not something that ambitious, but as long as it has some link to extreme metal, they've proven to be masters at integrating it into their sound.

The record is also dedicated to two friends of the band who are no longer with us, Bill Bumgardner (after whom the opening track is named) of Indian and Lord Mantis and Adrian Guerra of Bell Witch. Along with the loss of these two artists, vocalist and lyricist Mike Paparo has been using his own struggles with depression as inspiration for the album, and you can feel the heaviness of a lot of the music coming from that, with a general feeling of a world coming to an end. Whether in the most plodding death metal riffs or in the droning and atmospheric moments, there's a subtle but noticeable emotional heaviness as well.

There's rarely such an album that both manages to combine genres seamlessly without feeling gimmicky and does it in such a way that leaves me in awe at how amazing it is at doing it. There might be some trimming that could help this album not lose any momentum, but very few albums feel like contenders for both best death metal album of the year and best post-metal album of the year. Maybe extreme doom and sludge as well.

I wonder what kind of strange dialect Sulphur English is supposed to be.


 



Written on 20.04.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 119 users
20.04.2019 - 22:32
nikarg
Old Nick
Fuck yeah! I love this album's crushing heaviness.
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20.04.2019 - 22:34
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 20.04.2019 at 22:32

Fuck yeah! I love this album's crushing heaviness.

Man was this album a wild ride
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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20.04.2019 - 22:38
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by RaduP on 20.04.2019 at 22:34

Written by nikarg on 20.04.2019 at 22:32

Fuck yeah! I love this album's crushing heaviness.

Man was this album a wild ride

You know, for me normally it would be too long and I rarely give long albums a chance but I've been going back to it really a lot. Also the sentence "Inter Arma can just seamlessly weave anything they want into their music and it would work" is spot on.
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21.04.2019 - 22:07
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Quite the fan of these guys and really enjoyed their last album, they're definitely one of the better and more unpredictable sludge bands out there. Enjoyed their last quite a lot so I'm pretty eager to get on this, didn't even know it was out now so thanks for the review!
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Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
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21.04.2019 - 22:14
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 21.04.2019 at 22:07

Quite the fan of these guys and really enjoyed their last album, they're definitely one of the better and more unpredictable sludge bands out there. Enjoyed their last quite a lot so I'm pretty eager to get on this, didn't even know it was out now so thanks for the review!

Yeah, they defy easy categorization so I wouldn't exactly call them a sludge band. But if I were to, they would be one of the best
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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22.04.2019 - 05:04
Lanthros
Typically when I see the terms "post" and "core" (with the exception of grind) I tune out. This one sounds interesting though.
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22.04.2019 - 10:35
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
I still believe that song "Primordial Wound" is the heaviest shit Inter Arma can ever record.
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22.04.2019 - 15:58
DeliciousDishes
While I would say Through Silver in Blood is one of the heaviest albums ever recorded, yeah this is so fucking heavy compared to usual post metal.
I wish I knew stuff about production so I could say why I love the one on this album so much. It's also surprisingly groovy and catchy, to the point where a song like Stillness is stuck in my head - a song the type of which I usually am just bored by. This is a big album of the year contender right here.
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