Monday 11 July 2016

Inter Arma - Paradise Gallows


1. Nomini
2. An Archer In The Emptiness
3. Transfiguration
4. Primordial Wound
5. The Summer Drones
6. Potomac
7. The Paradise Gallows
8. Violent Constellations
9. Where The Earth Meets The Sky

I've decided to take a break from my compulsive record hunting to write a review (I'm searching for one solitary record to complete a collection and having no luck!). Anyway here's something new that it was only officially released three days ago. Richmond, VA metallers Inter Arma begun their voyage back in 2006. They released two demos, a split, an EP and their debut full-length "Sundown" (via Forcefield Records in 2010) before signing with Relapse Records. Their second full-length "Sky Burial" appeared in 2013 followed by a one-song 45-minute LP a year later.  Now comes "Paradise Gallows". They've recently confirmed a hometown release show alongside Withered and old split buddies Battlemaster for August 5th, so you better go if you live in or near Richmond!

The (sort-of) gentile opener Nomini contains a mix of both acoustic and wailing electric guitar melodies. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to pull off a Baroness (you’ll know what I’m getting at when you hear it). Just for clarification though, I love Baroness. An Archer In The Emptiness is the bastard son created during a menage-a-trois between sludge, death and black metal. Angular, riffy and with endless low-end. It’s an assault on the senses of the unaware. They venture further into the realm of black metal on Transfiguration. It definitely contains a more sinister edge, with the double-bass drumming and higher pitched shrieks. The atonal claustrophobic textures of drone are woven into Primordial Wound. It’s very effective musically as well, especially with chanting set against it. When it finally spills over, it’s cathartic in the best way possible. I’m a big fan of a lot of doom/sludge (the usual suspects that shall remain nameless here) and Inter Arma pulls it off with aplomb. That said, Primordial Wound is an intense listen and will drive some into an almost irreversible trance. They also get the quiet pauses between songs right too. The Summer Drones enters stage right after a fading cymbal crash that then picks up in volume to reveal groove-like rhythms and psych vox. At time it’s gloomy and at others it’s quite bright musically. Paradise Gallows shows lesser bands how they can be both consistent yet texturally different in each song they write. it’s a bit of a masterclass so far. Potomac uses the same glorious melodies that surfaced during the album’s opener. It’s continuation like this that really makes me smile. The piano will no doubt appeal to true music fans too, being dramatic yet welcome. It ends with the best solo as well! The title-track feels very isolated. There’s plenty of melodrama in the opener bars. Inter Arma seems to gather all of their ideas into one song here, which makes a lot of sense. Violent Constellations is violence personified (that’s all I need to say about this song). Closing with the soothing peace of Where The Earth Meets The Sky is a touch of class, though you still get the feeling it could blow up at any time. In nine songs Inter Arma reaffirms both how fragile and how beautiful life can be. Positivity can be found in the darkest of placed, so I urge you to listen to this record.  

You can stream Paradise Gallows and pick it up digitally, on CD and double LP below:-

Inter Arma Facebook -
Relapse Records Facebook - 

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