Inexorum continue to emblazon black metal with energy, power on heart-rushing ‘Equinox Vigil’

Photo by Kelly O’Donnell

Heavy metal is designed to make you feel things, and that can involve a variety of reactions both positive and negative. When it comes to black metal, the majority of the music is there to trigger negativity and hatred, filling you with madness that inflames the worst parts of ourselves. It’s kind of an unwritten rule that you’re supposed to walk away miserable, but who decided that anyway?

Minneapolis black metal duo Inexorum doesn’t seem terribly interested in following any of these standards, and since their start, they’ve delivered melodic power that actually makes you feel positive energy. It’s not like the band—vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist/programmer Carl Skildum, bassist/vocalist Matthew Kirkwold—doesn’t include negative ideas in their music, because they’re definitely there. But they don’t submit to that energy and instead instill their music with that power that bleeds heavily into their excellent third album “Equinox Vigil.” The band’s melodies just explode and take you with them, and the music is so goddamn catchy and energetic, you can’t help but feel revived and electric when it’s all over. On this album, the band is joined by guests Tanner Anderson (Obsequiae) and keyboard player d.notive to help flesh out these creations and add even more texture to these infectious songs.

“Creation Myth” explodes to life with the riffs supercharging, unloading undeniable energy. Grim shrieks rain down as Skildum howls, “We came from nowhere! Formed in cataclysm, grasped in fragments,” as the playing is raucous and melodic, and the track races to a huge end. The title track feels humid as it starts before the gas pedal is jammed through the floor, and things are catchy and fiery. “When everything has changed,” Skildum wails, “Will I find my way home?” as thunderous playing washes over everything, clean singing rises and shows a different shade, and the final moments blast through your chest. “Until There’s Nothing Left” is daring and fast, the pace mashing bones and flesh, shrieks hammering as the playing rockets through the stars. The drums maul as some coarser screams make their way in, exploding with energy before washing into a mythical bath. “Dark Sky Sanctuary” has guitars firing up right away, unloading as the guitars surge with force. The chorus ignites as the playing lathers with electricity, the tempo races hard, and the leads and clean singing end the song in the heart of a scathing fire.

“Secret Language” is cut from the same frenetic cloth as what preceded it, though it pulls back just a bit to let things breathe. There is great emotion, and the leads get your heart rate up as the playing blinds and decimates, spilling adrenaline before disappearing into time. “Memoriae Sacrum” brings savage drumming as the speed spirals into your heart, and the chorus once again brings everything to life, which this band never fails to do. Synth glaze cools the flesh, the guitars go off, and everything zips past the horizon. “On the Last Day” fades in from mystery before it rushes forward, bringing a great surge you can feel physically and mentally. Cool proggy synth moves in and makes the vibe more challenging as the intensity continues to build. Things calm for a brief gasp before the guitars awaken and smash, and the final moments leave ample bruising. Closer “Such Impossible Sights” brings a great mix of all the elements baked into this record as the drums explode, the riffs soar, and hearty clean singing takes the lead over another rousing chorus. The band manages to find another gear as the power thrusts toward you, the vocals wrench and surge, and dramatic guitars add a thick glaze that fills your mind and body.

It’s impossible to listen to an Inexorum record and not feel your heart rate climb appreciably, but in a good way where you feel energy spread to every muscle. “Equinox Vigil” is another masterful dose of melodic black metal from this duo that has yet to present a disappointing moment over the course of three awesome records. There’s still plenty of darkness packed into this album, but if you are hoping to find a black metal record willing to let you wallow in your misery, this isn’t it. Inexorum remain a relentless life force that refuses to ever give in or surrender.

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