There are people out there who would try to convince you that, in musical terms, everything has been done before. They rest their case on the fact that there are only a certain amount of notes in this world and only so much you can do with them. Clearly anyone who tries to argue this point is not only an ignoramus but has never been given the musical gift of Inter Arma.
Honestly, for some bands there is some truth to the above statement. There is only so far they can go with their sound and while it may still sound great after a dozen or two albums (oh, hello Motorhead…) there’s still a cap to what they can achieve sonically and artistically. Virginia’s Inter Arma might be the antithesis to this because what they’ve been able to accomplish on their Relapse debut, Sky Burial, is simply astounding. Genre bending is for the brave of heart. These guys must have the musical hearts of the fiercest warriors in history. It’s tough enough to write a really great black metal album, or a really great doom/sludge metal album, or a really great grindcore album, or a really great ambient/atmospheric piece of music. But to take all of those elements, successfully weld them together, and come out with a finished product that doesn’t sound contrived or forced is a feat that stands as nothing short of amazing.
If you were to pick up this album at some random point, as you would with a movie you find on cable flipping channels, there is absolutely no telling what you’d be jumping into. It could potentially be the gloomy and brutal darkness of opener “The Survival Fires”. It could be the Meddle-era Pink Floyd worship of “The Long Road Home”. It could be the Neurosis-inspired bashing and trouncing of a track like “‘sblood”. Regardless of what influences they are brandishing at the time Inter Arma create such a brilliant musical experience that you’ll be hard-pressed to find many albums that hit the streets this year worth spending as much time on as this one. It’s equal parts epic and unsettling. Truly just a roller coaster of an album in the best possible way. Sky Burial officially hits the streets next week but in the interim you can check out two tracks for free on the Inter Arma Bandcamp page.
Your metal homework this week is to comment below and give me some tips on your favorite metal radio programs (whether they be solely internet based or on a station that streams on the web). Don’t worry about DJ names and all that jazz just give me the days of the week and times if you know them and what station(s) they are on. I’m always on the lookout for great radio shows that could potentially turn me on to great bands. Thanks for your help!