Inferi
Vile Genesis

I’ve been covering Inferi since 2009s End of an Era, and since then they have become The Artisan Era’s flagship band and one of the mainstays of the melodic/shredding technical death metal genre in the US scene. They have not been super prolific, with 2 more albums, an EP and a redo of End of an Era since 2009, all being pretty good releases. And now, they have just released album number 5 and the main man Malcolm Pugh (ex Enfold Darkness) has them locked into their sound now that continues to be an extra shreddy, techy, blackened, melodic death metal that’s still The Black Dahlia Murder meets Arsis and Cradle of Filth on ‘roids based, but with a more melodic, epic element.

The 8 songs are all between 4-6 minutes long, making for that 43-minute sweet spot, and there is no filler or interludes. Just 9 solo heavy, shreddy, frenzied blasting tracks that ooze confidence and skill, and while the memorability is still hit and miss, as it usually is with such furiously shredding material, there are more cool, ‘wow’ moments than I recall on prior albums. Also, without back and listening to The Path of Apotheosis, or Revenant, Pugh’s orchestral elements (also now seemingly a main stay for The Artisan Era bands) seem to be a little more subtle, but well used and bombastic when they are used. I mean listen to that glorious opening to the first track, “No Gods But Our Flesh”. Also benefitting this record is the Dave Otero (Vale of Pnath, Allegaeon, Cattle Decapitation) production which is a bit weightier than past efforts, and gives the urgent shreddage some real oomph.

Right from the aforementioned salvo of opener “No Gods But Our Flesh”, as well the savagely tight riffs in the midsection of the second track “Maetrsol Prison”,  the album rips. But around dramatic “Simian Hive” and the incredible standout and personal favorite, “From Exile to Exaltation”, the album just fucking takes off. The title track delivers a dramatic opening, a nice, classically inspired solo, a little introspective break, and a lumbering breakdown amid its otherwise furious pace. “Mesmeric Horror” is another standout with stunning lead work and some variety amid the pacing to stop it from being one continual shred fest. And speaking of that issue, Inferi somehow avoids that pothole, managing to keep all 9 songs just different enough to not devolve into one long 43-minute shred overload. Case and point, “Carving the Kingdom”, which injects alternates some slower moments amid arguably the album’s fastest moments.

That said, by the time 7-minute closer, “Heirs of Descent” ends the album, I’m about shredded out with finger cramps from all the air guitar noodling. But I’m still vastly entertained and glad Inferi is back on my radar again with such a strong album that I seem to enjoy more and more which each listen.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 15th, 2021

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