Review Summary: An epic journey filled with some of the most unique black metal you will ever hear.
Inquisition's Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult
, is essentially the definition of cult black metal. Everything about this album screams cult, from the album cover to the lyrics that praise Satan. This album, on the other hand, is anything but your average black metal release. Indeed, this album happens to be one of the most intricate and thoughtful black metal releases I have ever heard. Unlike a good deal of black metal, in this album you will not find endless tremolo riffing combined with constant blast beats. Instead, you will find yourself being dragged through an epic journey which does not rely on speed or technicality to keep you interested, but pure quality musicianship.
After the intro on the first track "Unholy Magic Attack" you will notice right away Inquisition do not use traditional black metal vocals. In fact, the vocalist Dagon hardly uses a harsh style at all. Dagon's style is very strange to say the least, the easiest way to describe it is a monotonous drone, but unlike bands like Leviathan who try and use this technique, Dagon pulls it off quite well and makes it fit the music perfectly. Although this style may take some getting used to for the most part, the vocals are just another thing that give Inquisition their edge and individuality.
However, in the end Inquisition is not a band you listen to marvel at the vocals. The truly great thing about this album is the sheer songwriting capabilities possessed by these guys. Every song has memorable riffs that go through various changes to keep you interested. With these riff changes also come tempo changes that, while noticeable, are not out of place nor interruptive of the flow of the songs. Some of the songs are far more down tempo than the rest of the album, for instance "Solitary Death in Nocturnal Forests" is slow all the way through, while still keeping the listener interested.
Musical talent is something that certainly does not take a back seat on this album. Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult
demonstrates that Dagon and Incubus can perform their respected instruments with great competence. Incubus is easily one of the bigger standout drummers in black metal, although he may not blast beat his way throughout whole songs he certainly knows how to vary his drumming. All the way through Incubus makes things interesting and always keeps a perfect beat. He never seems out of place or over the top.
Dagon is also plenty good at playing the guitar. It is clear he may not be the most technical player around, but for a black metal guitarist he is certainly good enough to get the job done. Apparently he also plays the bass, which is never audible throughout this album. Despite the bass not being present whatsoever I can confidently say it does not take much away from the overall quality at all. If bass was present it would most likely just follow the guitars, and be wholly uninteresting.
Throughout Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult
there are even more interesting elements and sections thrown in to make it a more captivating album. For instance, "The Initiation" has some folkish guitar lines thrown in that might be out of place in some black metal, but fit the song perfectly without being distracting at all. Introducing the songs there are audio samples taken from movies about Satan and rituals. These samples are obviously designed to help along the album's storyline of sorts. Although interesting at times these intros can be obnoxious and unnecessary.
Despite all of its wonder Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult
is not a flawless album. First of all it lacks variety in the vocal department. Aside from the occasional use of harsh backing vocals Dagon's monotonous drone is used all the way through without much tone change at all. However, unlike the majority of black metal vocalists you can actually decipher the lyrics. This is another positive side of his vocal technique. Some of the songs are quite repetitive as well, "Solitary Death in Nocturnal Woodlands" is probably a good 2 minutes too long because it does not change up as much as the rest of the albums' songs.
One thing that puts a lot of people off black metal is the production quality. After all a lot of black metal albums are filled with fuzz and static that make it hard for listeners to get into them. In despite of this Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult
has perfect production. The songs are not over polished by any means, but you can hear everything you need to in order to enjoy the album to the fullest.
When all is said and done, if you are a black metal fan, you need this album. Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult is a classic album which ranks up there with others such as Transilvanian Hunger
. With all of its individuality and epic song compositions there are very few things wrong with this album besides some minor shortcomings in the variety department. So with that said, get your computer ready and whether you pirate it off some blog, or order it online, get this album as soon as you possibly can.
What is good about this album
+Song structures are interesting and captivating
+Vocals are unique and awesome
+Both members can play their instruments very well
+Interesting elements thrown in to further the experience
What is not good about this album
-Vocals don't change at all
-Movie audio intros can be irritating at times