Tuesday 8 September 2020

Inexorum - Moonlit Navigation

Labels: Gilead Media

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 26 Jun 2020


1. Ouroboric State

2. Moonlit Navigation

3. Dream And Memory

4. Chains Of Loss

5. Signal Fires

6. The Breaking Point

7. Wild Magic

8. In Desperate Times

I never intended for last week to be so quiet on the blog front, but that's just how it pans out sometimes. The universe balances out eventually though and I couldn't stay away any longer. This evening I'm choosing to write about a semi-newish release from US melodic black/death metal duo Inexorum. Moonlit Navigation is the band's second full-length, coming just two years after the release of their debut Lore Of The Lakes. Both albums were released via Gilead Media.

I really need some escapism this evening, as things really got to me yesterday. Today’s been much better but there is such a thing as too much. Thankfully, Inexorum’s melodic black metal is a thing of beauty indeed and album opener ‘Ouroboric State’ mixes ice cold USBM with metal riffing and leads that borrow from the NWOAHM. The percussion is as intense as anything I’ve heard this year, while the bass rumbles below the vocals that mix demonic growls with occasional clean singing. This is way more than just another black/death record.

The title-track ‘Moonlit Navigation’ picks up where those riffs left-off, adding in a deceptively mid-paced tempo that’s so effective. There are elements of Scandi melodic death metal (like Insomnium and Amon Amarth) in places but unlike the latter of those two, Inexorum doesn’t go too far. The duo keeps focus, employing dual-vocals to a great extent and subtle keyboard tones, all crafted together to make the song seem a lot longer than it actually is, in a good way.

The pace gets turned up once again on ‘Dream And Memory,’ which balances the raw with the well-produced. Don’t get me wrong, this album isn’t going to attract the mainstream radio masses but it has a real quality to it that’s engaging and ever so listenable. Thus proving that extreme metal needn’t be noise for noise sake. There’s a clear heavy metal vibe flowing through Inexorum’s music, with the twin-guitar melodies that open up ‘Chains Of Loss’  bringing Khemmis to mind. The duo continues to punctuate the driving black/death with those guitars throughout and the texture adds so much to the song, turning it from just another extreme metal song into one that’s punishing but also musically enchanting.

‘Signal Fires’ is a heady mix of the aforementioned Scandi-inspired structures and punk. The tempos during the opening bars are very upbeat and there’s no let-up as you progress further into it, with the drums carrying the pace with such intensity that’s it hard to imagine any human being able to perform that way for that long, but Carl Skildum does and with ease. The rest of the music more than matches the percussion as well and it’s not til the final sixty-seconds that Inexorum eases the madness, albeit for a short time.

‘The Breaking Point’ is an aptly titled song because it will either make or break you as a listener. If you thought the pace of ‘Signal Fires’ was as fast as the band goes, you’re wrong as grinding blackness takes over amid treble-led riffs and deep bass/growls, all wrestling for room. Matthew Kirkwold’s keys provide a sinister edge to it all and while it’s not progressive necessarily, the song’s mid-section does feel that way thanks to the introspective passage and solo-guitar. Just as you’re settling into it though, the mood changes again as does the power. The additional clean vocals of Sarah Roddy are glorious as well. Once again enchanting.

Penultimate song ‘Wild Magic’ is an acoustic piece that provides some respite and a sense of emotion that hangs overhead, before ‘In Desperate Times’ snaps you out of it abruptly with one final blast of black/death metal, as do the added vocals from Tanner Anderson. It rounds out a quite brilliant album that blends so many genres and textures together. It’s both emotional and empowering. You wouldn’t think it was only Inexorum’s second ever release.

You can stream Moonlit Navigation and buy it all formats below:-

Inexorum - https://www.facebook.com/inexorum/

Physical copies and other merch can also be purchased from Gilead Media here - https://gileadmedia.net.

Gilead Media - https://www.facebook.com/gileadmedia/

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