Darkness, evil, and space are three elements that are sure to make for a great metal record if they’re used right. If they’re not, then they’re just kind of there as source material that really wasn’t fully understood by the creator. When these elements really strike, you have something special with which you’ll want to spend a lot of time.
Black metal duo Inquisition undoubtedly have given us plenty from the cosmic, darkness and evil realms during their half century together as a band and their numerous full-lengths, mini efforts, and split releases have made them one of the more infamous underground metal acts going and one of the most talked about. Their last record “Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm” (quick! Say that 10 times really fast!) seemed to give the band more traction than they ever had in their run, and the Hells Headbangers-released record and their live works piqued the interest of Season of Mist, who wisely signed the band for their new sixth record. Now comes the band’s heavily anticipated “Obscure Verses for the Multiverse” that won’t feel all that weird for their long-time followers but may take some adjustment for newcomers.
Inquisition ply the two-man thing as well as any metal band ever has, as guitarist/singer Dagon and drummer Incubus are the sole members and make enough thick noise to make up for a full-size group. What they do is massive and churning, and it sounds horrifying and mind blowing all at the same time. Um, but those vocals. Yeah, Dagon’s buzzing growls, that sound very similar to Abbath’s from Immortal, have turned off more than one listener over time, and it does take some getting used to if that’s not your thing. I get why it has kept some people away form the band, but the vocals also set these guys apart, and you definitely know when you’re hearing Inquisition very quickly. How many other bands can truly claim that? Me? I love the vocals.
On this record, the band delves even deeper into cosmology and elements of deep, cold outer space, as well as Satan, darkness overcoming all, stars, planets, chaos, you name it. You might find yourself going for a dictionary or your old science and astronomy books to understand some of the content, or you can just sit back and get drubbed by this warped black madness.
The record begins with “Force of the Floating Tomb,” a blistering yet melodic track that can make you dizzy after a while and features Dagon’s trademark creaky vocals. Some bizarre guitar work slips in, and Dagon pulls the song to its conclusion by howling, “Raise the chalice!” “Darkness Flows Toward Unseen Horizons” has a fairly approachable opening, like if you heard it on the radio you wouldn’t bat an eye. Then it blows up. Explosively fast and pulverizing fury spills in, the guitars match the intensity, and Dagon unleashes a blood-curdling death growl that shows his range. The title cut has surging riffs and some really strong lead guitar work, and you might find that cacophony of noise has left you spinning. “Spiritual Plasma Evocation” is built with groove-heavy drumming at times, flesh-bruising blasts at others, and a devastating assault rips out of the muddy first half of the song that leaves everything in the dust. “Master of the Cosmological Black Cauldron” certain puts images in your head and could make you think of the artwork that would make up old metal album covers (or like the one emblazoned across this one), and it’s a pulverizing track that balances its brutality with slurry guitar work and wholly mesmerizing psychological wooziness.
“Joined By the Dark Matter, Repelled By Dark Energy” also has a melodic, digestible first few minutes, but then things get weird, with bent guitars, gurgly growls, a strange haze that spreads over it all, and odd calls of praise including, “Rise above the cosmic seas.” “Arrivals of Eons After” is fast and blistering from the start, with Dagon sounding as bizarre and alien as ever before, and that paves the way for “Inversion of the Ethereal White Stars,” which is an interesting, head-tilting song that is thrashy and punchy, giving your face and ears a really good beating. “Infinite Interstellar Genocide” is your closer depending on which version of the album you buy, and it’s a total meltdown of riffs, blackness, and melodies. Dagon seems to channel an ancient spirit at one point, slipping into a chilling, strange chant, and the metallic chaos whip into a poisonous frenzy, a smokescreen that seems to have arrived from some far away world. Early versions of the album also come with a re-recorded take on “Where Darkness Is Lord and Death the Beginning,” from their 2007 album “Nefarious Dismal Orations,” and it’s a pretty fun update that isn’t necessarily essential but still kind of cool to have.
Inquisition never have sounded this mighty or darkly weird, and they delivered a mega strong document to take advantage of the larger audience Season of Mist should afford the band. “Obscure Verses for the Multiverse” may not be for every metal fan, because this definitely is a strange sounding band, but for those who get it, this album will provide hours of cosmic enjoyment that’ll warp your mind and cloud you in darkness that you won’t want to emerge from any time soon.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/inquisition.official
To buy the album, go here: http://e-shop.season-of-mist.com/en
For more on the label, go here: http://www.season-of-mist.com/