Having signed to Relapse Records last year, Richmond Virginia’s Inter Arma have been acquiring some very positive reviews from all corners of the globe. Sky Burial is the quintets second full-length album, since their beginning back in 2006 and it fuses doom, psychedelic sludge, grind and black metal. The thundering opening riff of ‘The Survival Fires’ is Inter Arma sounding like a herculean sea beast that has just been angrily awoken from its deep slumber. This is immediately followed by ‘The Long Road Home (Iron Gate)’ which is a beautiful, smoke-tinged instrumental that leaves you wishing it was only twice as long. ‘The Long Road Home’ is a fast paced, blast beat ridden whopper of a track and meanders through several different styles throughout the course of the song. ‘’sblood’ sounds like KoЯn vocalist Jonathan Davis fronting Mastodon. Elsewhere, the predominantly acoustic tones on ‘Love Absolute’ are scintillating in their simplicity. Closing track ‘Sky Burial’ features a wonderfully bedraggled snaking riff which builds to a furore of further choppy guitar work and ascending vocals from Mike Paparo that awakens memories of Mastodon on their fourth studio album Crack the Skye. Sky Burial is undoubtedly the early pacesetter for album of the year in our opinion. The bands hard work seems to have paid off and they have taken the sophisticated approach of not rushing into releasing their major label debut. Here’s hoping they will get the recognition that they unquestionably deserve.
Inter Arma are:
T.J. Childers (Drums), Steven Russell (Guitars), Trey Dalton (Guitars), Mike Paparo (Vocals), Joe Kerkes (Bass).