(9/10) Richmond, VA is the homebase of this powerful Metal band that releases with ‘Sulphur English’ their fourth full-length album in their 13th year of existence. Frontman Mike Paparo describes the new album as being ‘definitely a fuck-you to people’ and I think it describes this longplayer extremely well. ‘Sulphur English’ is a raging record that for the first time also touches political topics. In general it’s personal lyrics the album carries and I guess that’s the key to authenticity and emotions. ‘Suplhur English’ scores with it’s rage that’s real and not made up.
The album starts with the rogue opener ‘A Waxen Sea’, which is the first real songs after the intro ‘Bumgardner’ gets the listener into the right mood. ‘A Waxen Sea’ carries a hellish vibe and pulls you right towards the abyss. Deep growls also continue on ‘Citadel’ but compared to the opener, the Richmond-based band reduces pace a lot. ‘Citadel’ is Death/Doom Metal that features a furious outbreak in the middle section.
Inter Arma proves that this kind of music can have variations and twists. The guys don’t follow beaten paths, an approach leading to excellent compositions like the eleven minutes epos ‘The Atavist’s Meridian’. Brute Death Metal interacts here with atmospheric soundscapes, both supporting each others strength very well. Last but not least it’s the evil vibe that strings all elements of this monster song together, a tune you should check out.
Mentioning twists, a song called ‘Stillness’ surprises in this context of Extreme Metal. But the title reflects with 100% the sound you can expect. The song isn’t silent, but it’a a calmer moment in the raw context of fierce music. It’s a well-placed break in the middle of the track listing and shows the wide range of influences of Inter Arma.
To conclude: ‘Sulphur English’ creates a vicious atmosphere and you can feel the hellish heat of sulphur from start to end. It took me a while to find my way to this album, but as soon as you give it the attention needed, you will be rewarded by frame-challenging metal that is jaw-dropping good.
- A Waxen Sea
- Howling Lands
- Observances of the Path
- The Atavist’s Meridian
- Blood on the Lupines
- Sulphur English
Label: Relapse Records
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date EU: April 12th, 2019