Inter Arma
Paradise Gallows


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dean M. CONTRIBUTOR (25 Reviews)
July 10th, 2016 | 105 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A voyage through a tempestuous ocean of metal influences.

There’s something of a paradoxical trend in metal music at the moment. In recent years, metal (black metal especially) has been fracturing into smaller niches and more specific sub-sub-sub-genres so that every listener can be precisely certain of what they’re about to hear before they hit play. Yet novelty is still a precious commodity, so enough bands have used a variation on the phrase “resists categorization” to describe their own music to turn the phrase into a cliche, despite there being more categories to choose from than ever before. A handful of bands (Cobalt and post-hiatus Swans come to mind) really are difficult to categorize, and thus earn a reputation of bringing something truly new to the table.

Richmond-based five-piece Inter Arma is yet another metal band that claims to "resist categorization," and while they're not quite as difficult to categorize as the bands mentioned above, attempting to encapsulate their sound with a single genre label would be insufficient. Rather than combining all their influences at once into a single defining sound, as Cobalt does, Inter Arma’s approach on their third full-length album, Paradise Gallows, is to shift between a variety of different styles, from doom to black to death, morphing each ever so slightly in order to create a cohesive experience. “An Archer in the Emptiness” is a pummeling death metal track that would not be out of place on an Immolation record. “Transfiguration” begins as a pounding of war drums before exploding into a maelstrom of black metal blast beats. “Primordial Wound” and “The Summer Drones” showcase the range of sounds that exist under the “doom metal” umbrella; the former mixes the feedback and repetitive chugging of Sunn O))) with the heavy chords and drum work of YOB, while the latter lays swirling, U.S. Christmas-esque guitars over an Om-like bass-and-drum groove. A soaring, David Gilmour-inspired riff forms the foundation for opener “Nomini” and interlude “Potomac,” and a guitar solo makes yet another nod to Pink Floyd on the otherwise Neurosis-influenced title track.

Yet Inter Arma manages to combine all of these disparate styles and influences into a cohesive package. The echo-laden production deserves a lot of credit in this regard, as it makes every track on Paradise Gallows feel huge, in the way that the tempestuous ocean feels huge to the solitary ship on the album cover. This expansive sound ends up being the thread that ties all the pieces together and makes Paradise Gallows feel like an album from a band with a solitary vision, rather than just a metal sub-genre sampler. There may not be much on Paradise Gallows that is particularly novel, but Inter Arma pull off every style that they include with enough talent, panache, and consistency of vision to make the album a mesmerizing experience.



Recent reviews by this author
Inter Arma Sulphur EnglishAstronoid Astronoid
The Dead Mantra Saudade ForeverMuscle and Marrow Love
HIRS Friends. Lovers. Favorites.Marmozets Knowing What You Know Now
user ratings (144)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
July 10th 2016


1099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album is streaming in full on Inter Arma's Bandcamp page: https://interarma.bandcamp.com/

The entire album's great, but I especially recommend Transfiguration, The Summer Drones, and the title track.

Critiques are always welcome.

Digging: Inter Arma - Sulphur English

oltnabrick
July 10th 2016


36658 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

their best, i think

Digging: Nocturnal Depression / Psychonaut 4 - Children of the Night

ShadowRemains
July 10th 2016


25007 Comments


album cover is amazing

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
July 10th 2016


1099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^Agreed.

Archelirion
July 10th 2016


5651 Comments


Oh shit, more Inter Arma? This will either be great or kinda dull.
Excellent review once again dude, pos'd :]

TooLateToGoBack
July 10th 2016


1965 Comments


That album cover is ridiculously good.

parksungjoon
July 10th 2016


9354 Comments


sky burial was pretty great, gonna check

album cover [4]

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Great album! Can't decide so far if I like it more than Sky Burial. Must listen to that one again too, it's been a while. I love their artwork. Good review, pos!

Digging: Fennesz - Agora

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
July 10th 2016


2976 Comments


their best, i think

[2]

bit of a slog, but definitely prefer the vibes here to their previous stuff.

R6Rider
July 10th 2016


5211 Comments


Really liked the first single they released off of this.

Will check the rest.

Spacesh1p
July 10th 2016


7669 Comments


I felt like the middle the review had a bit too much name dropping but otherwise good review.

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
July 10th 2016


1099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I'm conflicted about that passage. I especially thought it might have been a bit much to reference U.S. Christmas. Like, that's a deep cut even for Sputnik. But I also think it's the most accurate way to describe the music, so ¯_(ツ)_/¯

brainmelter
July 10th 2016


6302 Comments


that album cover is so pleasing to look at

Digging: Oksennus - Valkoinen jttilinen

Hawks
July 10th 2016


69195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Was thinking about reviewing this myself, but now there's no need. ;]



Album fucking rips.

Digging: Hecate Enthroned - Embrace Of The Godless Aeon

trilo
July 10th 2016


2455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bit of a slog, but definitely prefer the vibes here to their previous stuff. [2]



Transfiguration is killer

Digging: Inter Arma - Sulphur English

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2016


8282 Comments


Very well written review, pos.

I liked everything I've heard from the previous album, so I should check this one as well.

Digging: Veiled (DE) - In Blinding Presence

Hawks
July 10th 2016


69195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is the only thing I've heard from them, I'll have to check the others.

AsleepInTheBack
July 10th 2016


5952 Comments


Love this review, pos'd

Another album/band I should probably get around to listening to.

indigonowhere
Emeritus
July 10th 2016


10727 Comments


Summary and cover art make me wanna listen to a metal album again

Ocean of Noise
July 10th 2016


10598 Comments


Seeing as metal is the best genre ever, I would get on that, Jade!

Album cover is indeed stunning.

Digging: Buckethead - Trace Candle



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy