Inferi (USA)
Revenant


4.0
excellent

Review

by siddhartha USER (7 Reviews)
April 21st, 2018 | 264 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: behold the bearer of riffs

2014 was a more than decent year for death metal with the likes of Fallujah’s The Flesh Prevails and Artificial Brain’s Labyrinth Constellation making a big splash in the tech-death community (the former to my disdain). Inferi’s previous outing, The Path Of Apotheosis, unfortunately being outshined by other prominent releases of its year. For those who noticed, It was a huge step up from any of their previous work and made them a definite force to be reckoned with. Quickly becoming a benchmark album in the genre by being able to pull off staggeringly coherent technical melodeath many hadn't really quite heard before. They sounded so unabashedly energetic and oh so hungry. So I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that Revenant is marginally more nuanced and mature than anything the band has ever crafted before.

The guitar playing is so damned tight and frenetic it's almost dizzying at times. The playing is admirably quite impressive, even for seasoned listeners of the genre. It brings me great pleasure to hear how satisfyingly triumphant in concept and execution the overall song structures are this time around. The atmosphere throughout the album is grandiose and epic, the kind of epic heights melodeath bands wish they could reach. They've refined their already exceptional modus operandi to goliath distances and sound undeniably massive (Smolder in the Ash oh my god).The main focus of the band has always been their astounding dual guitar work by Malcolm Pugh and Mike Low. Both of the aforementioned guitarists have been in other projects of similar nature and prowess but this is truly some of their very best work. The guitar solos are still aplenty and multiple are present on every track. They're all diverse and some even melancholic and almost, always goose-bump inducing, as the best solos in death metal should be. The intro to the nine minute epic that is Malevolent Sanction is probably the most beautiful orchestral moment on the whole album, displaying vibrant strings, violins, and acoustic guitars that appropriately gets you into the perfect head space for the ensuing tundra of soaring riffs and melodies that will follow. The songwriting is always dynamic, always taking the songs in surprising directions. The songs present all average at about five minutes in length and will require repeated listens, not for the reasons you’d think; but even on the third and fourth listens, I was hearing completely new intricacies and flourishes in the compositions that had flown right by me the first couple of times. Not because I wasn't listening intently but because each individual track is meticulously crafted and packed to the brim with dozens and dozens of methodical riffs.

The drum playing by Jack Blackburn is much more varied this time around, almost always blasting away at inhuman speeds but letting the compositions breath at the appropriate times. The bass guitar is surprisingly high in the mix and the overall sound is all the better for it. One of the two new members to the bands lineup; Joel Schwallier is a wonderfully proficient bassist and his style compliments the technical wizardry of the guitarists. The bass lines dance around the dual guitar assault and there are even some really tasteful bass solos sprinkled throughout the album. The high bass tone makes for a much fuller and immersive sound that does the bands overall style absolute wonders. The track Condemned Assailant is a testament to their songwriting craft because it kept going to unexpected places and I honestly never wanted it to end. They added a new vocalist that strictly does the high vocals ala their previous vocalist. He does a fine job but they can become a bit grating, as their isn’t much variation to the vocals. Leaving much to be desired in the vocal department, mostly because the low vocals/growls by lead guitarist Malcolm Pugh are much more sparse this time around. Also, a detraction I can see for some is that this can be pretty exhausting to listen to all in one go. All the songs being so dense and playing with their own motifs and ideas can be potentially a bit numbing for the uninitiated, perhaps better if digested in two halves. Despite this, every song has robust staying power and are way catchier than they have any business being.

This is exactly what melodic death metal should sound like in the current year. Full of mesmerizing riffs, impassioned solos, more than excellent musicianship, and an even fuller realization of their engrossing approach and atmosphere. The scope of the music is grand and it hits all the right spots and more for anyone interested in the genre. I'm extremely happy to say that my expectations were through the roof for their follow up to The Path of Apotheosis and they have, to be frank, been obliterated. Technical as can be, incorporating blackened elements, and sheer brutality and melody melded seamlessly, we are being desensitized and spoiled for all others that will follow after this. Inferi has never sounded better and the band is setting a new standard yet again, for melodic death metal.




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user ratings (182)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
brainmelter
April 21st 2018


7096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first review in a while, feedback is welcome

Digging: The Angels of Light & Akron/Family - Akron/Family & Angels of Light

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2018


4179 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad you split the middle paragraph up after you posted it. Your criticisms are sound and I like that you're unafraid to take a first-person perspective every now and then.



A couple of your word choices are a little, I dunno.. buzzword-y?



"gloriously epic", "undeniably monumental", etc. aren't particularly descriptive and feel a little shoehorned in. Unless you meant to describe the music stylistically, in which case you could probably just expand on your analysis there a bit and the end result would be a lot more convincing in its praise.



Good review, pos. Digging the album more than their last one.

AsleepInTheBack
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2018


6522 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hmm, I certainly appreciate the bass and (quite frankly) nutty drum work on this. 'Dizzying' is right though, I get a bit lost on this one, especially when they layer the manic guitars with orchestral flourishes. Not a bad thing though, its a great record, just going to take a bit more unpacking for me. neat review too.

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2018


4179 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah this could do without the orchestration as the riffs are more than strong enough on their own, but I sorta knew what to expect so it wasn't a big deal.



Sleep with one eye open Aiwaz!

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2018


26854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review, POS! I really agree with the bit about the vocals; They aren't terrible, but they aren't great. It stinks, because the music is" so good and it kind of distracts from that a bit. I usually don't go for this really technical, clean and modern style of (melodic) death metal, but this album kicks ass.





Digging: Rebel Wizard - Magickal Mystical Indifference

AsleepInTheBack
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2018


6522 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I kind of want to see them perform this live, see if they can actually match the performances here or whether they're just massively propped up up editing.

Kusangii
April 21st 2018


2813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet



Where's the 5 tho

EvoHavok
April 21st 2018


7822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh, this is out. Sweet!

DePlazz
April 21st 2018


2251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like Pugh and riffs but find this absolutely lifeless and sterile.

brainmelter
April 21st 2018


7096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fixed; thanks for the feedback jaq, I re-worded those parts so they don't seem so extra anymore

it's just so hard not to gush about this, I have a soft spot for this band..

ty for the kinds words y'all

Piripichotes
April 21st 2018


560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Path Of Apotheosis >>> The Flesh Prevails

Hawks
April 21st 2018


73846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lmao Fallujah blows.

Digging: Havukruunu - Uinuos Symein Sota

SIIMBOLIC
April 21st 2018


1376 Comments


yeah agreed with hawks hard

brainmelter
April 21st 2018


7096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah they kind of do tbh they were brought up because I mentioned briefly how the flesh prevails had a lot of the metal community by the balls when it came out that year

Hawks
April 21st 2018


73846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Idk bro I'd remove that tbh The Flesh Prevails is awful and Fallujah as a whole is awful and it's tainting the greatness of the rest of the review and this band.



Still pos'd hard though. :] m/

Piripichotes
April 21st 2018


560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, fallujah doesn't hold a candle to Inferi, who've been since forever slaying... I remember them going as far back as '04. Never got enough recognition though...



BASS IS AUDIBLE!!!!

Piripichotes
April 21st 2018


560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'ts not that flesh prevails is "awful" per se, I mean, a lot of work went into it, I just never listened to it again after a couple of listens and never felt the urge to go back... like it happened to me with "destroyer" or "ophidian form".



parksungjoon
April 21st 2018


21482 Comments


name sounds familiar but i dont think ive ever listened to these guys

Digging: Prong - Primitive Origins

bloc
April 21st 2018


62077 Comments


Godly album as expected. Definitely their best. If a tab book ever gets released I needed it yesterday.

Digging: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Dazzle Ships

Piripichotes
April 21st 2018


560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

gawd bloc, are you able to play this??? I've seen the playthroughs from the making... geez... Every instrument in this band is unplayable...



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