Review Summary: A strong opening statement from a young band with enormous potential.
With nothing but a demo and a relatively unknown five-year-old EP named “Hallucination”
under their bullet belts, In Reverence has erupted from the vast pool of upcoming death metal bands with vicious charisma and brimming with confidence alongside the release of their dystopian-themed debut album, “The Selected Breed”
What is most impressive about In Reverence is how they exhibit the level of professionalism expected from seasoned bands such as Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir, even though they are only just surfacing. Excellent production and passionate talent help construct the uneasy atmosphere that “The Selected Breed”
” displays. Elongated guitar harmonies deeply placed at the back of the mix- yet always visible- slither around unhurriedly during the title track and “Anthropogeny” in contrast to the relentless riffing and trembling tremolo onslaughts in both songs. This effect creates a tangible sense of dread during the panicked state of emergency they are in. Moreover, this impending dread is felt through mystical melodic interludes, especially in “Gift of Disintegration”. Although this technique is used slightly too often throughout the album, it enhances the commanding vocals and dominating death metal rhythms as well as expanding the diverse soundscapes of the album by means of a tense, unpredictable nature.
Hailing from Sweden, the Gothenburg style of death metal is evident over the course of In reverence’s debut album. Showering melodies and powerful dual grooves stand parallel to destructive blast beats during “Jahiliah” with Filip Danielsson’s growls leading the charge, however, In Reverence blend the melodicism of Swedish death metal with their Scandinavian neighbour’s stereotypical characteristics. During the furious assaults of cold, stabbing riffs, Norwegian black metal surfaces instantaneously on “Gods of Dehumanization” to establish a chilling, violent tone that continues throughout the following songs. To adhere to the sound of rhythm his bandmates play to, Danielsson altars his vocals. Generally, he sticks to a low growl similar to Mikael Åkerfeldt but when the band snaps into Black Metal Mode, like on the titanic lead single “The Sixth Bloodletting”, he adjusts his voice into harsh shrieks that vocalists such as Dani Filth practice.
Contrary to the uneasy atmosphere that the band resides in, this album resonates a sense of relaxation and confidence. At just over 33 minutes long, it does not outstay it’s welcome nor does it appear bloated with too many ideas. Due to its refined nature, this debut album is a rare beast in that it sounds like In Reverence have nailed their style over the course of several albums. Even structurally, In Reverence give their influences a run for their money. “Life Rejuvenate” is a brief instrumental closer that concludes the album with menacing melodies akin to the familiar melody at the start of the album during “Jahiliah”, seamlessly offering “The Selected Breed”
a rounded, wholesome listening experience.
In Reverence incorporates the lyricism of Meshuggah, the precision of Dimmu Borgir and the atmosphere of Behemoth only on a smaller scale. With that kind of ability, this band are going places. And when they arrive at these places- and they most certainly will- they will raze them to the ground and simply move on in search of other places to decimate. If death metal ever deteriorates, In Reverence are indeed ‘the selected breed’ of bands who will endure.