Review Summary: A battalion of furious drumming and breakneck guitar riffs find their onslaught slowed by lackluster vocals and production quality.
When a band releases a sophomore album, plenty of speculation is made over it. The group’s sound, lineup, genre and plenty more come into question. In the case of Inferi’s The End of an Era
everything from the first album is improved, and even though it’s not quite there, it’s gotten better. Some problems still persist, but for the most part, almost everything that has been improved has been to some extent. Although it has some very strong points, The End of an Era
is a melodic death metal album with a good amount of weak points.
Inferi has a fairly obvious war and battle theme that is the focal point of their songwriting and lyrical themes. Their sound can feel like a battlefield at times, if said battlefield is a lightspeed shootout with hardly enough time to draw breath. Most definitely the absolute pinnacle of this album is the guitarist, who never lets up in his rapid-fire performance. Throughout the entire album the guitarist shows that he is more than capable of the monstrous riffs and outright disgustingly high speed solos. This can really be a turn off to some however. who will listen to this with barely enough rest to breathe. Clearly though, the vocalist is not a part of that group. Inhales, inhales, and still more inhales seem to be the vocalist’s style of choice on this album, with the occasional deep growl to contrast his rather gruff delivery of the war-driven lyrics. However, the vocalist’s rather mediocre voice is not enough to take too much away from the album, but certainly is more than enough to turn some people away from it.
Although the instrumentation is magnificent, the production of them is not up to snuff. The drumming sounds pretty hollow at times but since they draw a more technical death metal influence than melodic they can still remain a point of interest. Throughout each song, the drummer alternates between blast beats and whatever else he feels like and doesn’t seem to enjoy sticking to the same beat for more than 30 seconds. Though I would not call the drums themselves a weak point, I would call their production one. The guitarist is lucky enough to be the least affected by the production, which is great for us listeners who will probably be enjoying his performance the most. Even though there are some production issues, Inferi is a young band that is blessed with enough talent that it doesn’t completely kill their sound.
High pitched shrieks reminiscent of a child screaming with clogged up sinuses serve to be the bottom of the album while the guitarist, playing riffs that would make early Arsis nod their head in approval, is the field most worthy of praise. A barrage of speed leaves you with plenty of energy, but not always enough energy to keep up with the pace of each song. Overall, the album offers some pretty promising stuff, but that’s all it is. Promising stuff. Inferi is still trying to find their own musical identity, and I can only hope they will (if they got back together / are together). The End of an Era
is a step in the right direction which can still stand up on its own, but in the end, just doesn’t completely deliver.