Of Sunless Realms EP

In the before times, earlier this year, I made it out to two shows. One of those was the Shadow of Intent tour which featured Signs of the Swarm, Brand of Sacrifice, and today’s review subject, Inferi. It was the first date of that tour at a really bad ass venue to which I had never been (and haven’t since, thanks COVID). I had heard Inferi before but had never really enjoyed them until I saw their technical wizardry on full display live. So now the question is whether what they do can translate to a recording.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your attention span), this is not a new full length, but an EP named Of Sunless Realms. 5 tracks, 22 minutes, easy fucking peasy. I’m rarely a fan of the format, but considering my main complaint about my previous experience with Inferi was the length (uh huh huh) of their albums, I thought this might be perfect. So, with that in mind, let’s check this out…

The opener is called “The Abhorrent Art,” which doesn’t take long to get moving… into exactly what one would expect from an Inferi track. It’s mostly full speed ahead, save for the final couple minutes. It’s a decent introduction to what they are about for the uninitiated. While Inferi are frequently placed within the technical death metal realm, they place the “black” genre tag in their official site’s description, and the atmosphere certainly dictates this.

When the first track was over, I must admit I didn’t know the second had begun. That track is called “Eldritch Evolution,” and it’s a little bit shorter of a track, but not by much. It’s carried by the lead guitar work, perhaps more triumphantly, and stands out a little bit more than its predecessor, but I’ll stop short of calling it a standout.

Unfortunately, after numerous listens, I still can’t really call any of the tracks standouts. It’s difficult to pick out any moments when the production is somehow low in volume and brick-walled at the same time. “The Summoning,” which essentially plays the part of an interlude, is carried by the atmospherics, and I found myself begging for more of that.

The track into which it leads, the closer, “Aeons Torn,” is essentially the second verse, same as the first. It has cool parts, no real hooks, and obviously talented musicians. For what feels like the first time, I can hear the bass in the background.

So, look, it’s probably clear this EP hasn’t changed my mind on Inferi. Technical blackened death metal is sometimes for me, but it mostly isn’t. I’m a big fan of most of what labels like Unique Leader have offered this year, specifically that Xenobiotic record along with Stillbirth, Cytotoxin, and Ahtme. This little EP is not on that level.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
October 16th, 2020


  1. Commented by: Jerry

    This kind of shit is everything wrong with metal right now.

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