Black Devotion

Inferno’s Black Devotion is another 2009 release that got stuck in my pile of discs that didn’t see the light of day until recently. Better late than never, right? Anyway, it seems appropriate that this one stayed buried until the coldest time of the year because it is utterly without warmth. These 11 tracks of relentless, biting black metal from the Czech Republic are offered up in a mostly formulaic fashion, with a change-up thrown in here and there.

Opener “Prolog” slowly buzzes and builds into “Superior Will,” an evil track that displays Inferno’s collective chops and affinity for conventional black metal pomp. Lightning-fast riffing, bombastic blast beats and gruff vocals fill the notes of “Whisper of Hope in Bloody Tears,” “Altar of Perversity,” the excellently titled “Eaten by Rats Forever,” and most of the remainder of Black Devotion, not surprisingly. Exceptions to this formula include “Loyality of Honour” and “Epilog,” both of which nearly tread hard rock or melodic metal territory with more clean melodies and slower, more steadily-paced drumming. They’re done well, but out of place amongst a horde of frost-bitten, slashing tracks.

The cold, harsh audio atmosphere contained within most of Black Devotion is quite effective in evoking a certain feeling from the listener, especially on a depressing winter day, but also fairly typical of this style within the genre. Emperor did it similarly to much greater effect. Inferno have certainly done their fair share of studying the dark art of black metal, and no doubt they’ll continue to blast away at it, but there’s nothing overly unique to be found here. Black Devotion is worth your listen, though.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jodi Van Walleghem
February 2nd, 2010


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