Inter Arma
Sundown LP

OK, Forcefield Records, you’ve got my attention! Having just returned from a blissful trip through the vinyl corridors of the Cough/The Wounded Kings split LP, An Introduction to the Black Arts, I’m thrown for an even bigger loop by Inter Arma’s Sundown. At least I had some idea of the quality that awaited me with the split release, having already experienced other recordings from Cough and The Wounded Kings, but about Inter Arma I knew not a thing. And then the postman delivered a glorious piece of brown vinyl to my door.

Here is a release that moves in several directions, yet always remains on course. Staying within heavy music boundaries as defined by categories like black metal, sludge, crust, doom, and NOLA groove, Sundown kills in a variety of ways. In a dirtier sense, there are similarities to the lethal concoction of dust-choked black metal and early High on Fire smoke-billowing locomotion heard on Withered’s Dualitas. But along with the sludge thread that runs through much of the album comes Keelhaul’s gritty stomp and moments of crushing doom, as well as a great deal of southern metal groove, including the occasional vague nod to the weightier/earthier moments of both Down and Corrosion of Conformity. Those are by necessity general references, as Inter Arma do in fact have their own thing going here, including some masterful instrumental fire power on the 12-minute title track that closes Side B. Furthermore, it would be a crime if I didn’t mention the wicked guitar soloing that has a way of burrowing deep into the marrow of your soul.

So don’t let the serene piano of 40-second intro “Prolegomenon” on Side A fool you. It is just a way of lulling you into a fall sense of security while these Richmond, VA boys ready a giant anvil to drop on your head from 30 stories up. A couple of bonus tracks are available on the digital download and CD versions. In fact, you can order the black vinyl/digital package for a grand total of $10 (or $11.00 if you choose the colored vinyl); the CD and vinyl versions are each $8.00. Any way you slice it, that’s a lot of gang bang for the buck! Heavy is a heavy as does…as Inter Arma does on Sundown. Write it down.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
January 20th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: vugelnox

    great album! I’m still a little miffed I missed them last summer when they played a few shows with Battlemaster.


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