APRIL 23rd 2014

Review By: Anka

Inferi‘s new album ‘The Path of Apotheosis’ comes at the right time, when there’s a bit of a shortage of good technical melodeath albums. The very competitive genre seems to cause a shift of focus from song writing to skill more than ever, but Inferi comes up from behind and fills up the perceived void right away. This piece of melodic, fast, yet bombastic, mind-bending technical madness will leave you breathless but elated. Consider it your next drug. If I can bring any supporting arguments for that, the Canadian border did hold on to my CD package for a while, probably researching its addictive potential, thus delaying my pleasure of listening to it.
Inferi hails from Nashville, TN and it sounds like nothing that ever came out from the capital of country music. I’ve known the band for a while now, I’ve been keeping up to date with the recording process and I was eagerly waiting for this new baby (the third!) that has exceeded my expectations in many ways.
Let’s put it this way: these guys don’t resume themselves to the typical tech-death formula most of us have probably grown tired of. Just when you’d think there’s not much to add to the genre, they do just that: black metal allusions are plentiful, moody acoustic moments add balance and mediate brutal parts, and neoclassical influences are felt throughout, especially in the guitar work.  If you hate solos, don’t listen to the album: there’s at least one in every song. And if you think tech-y songs are too much to handle, give ‘The Path of Apotheosis’ a chance – is sounds clean, elegant and smooth enough for the amount of musical savagery that is happening there.
The two guitarists are tightly coordinated into the musical dialogue, which sounds more like a shred vortex where they don’t let go of each other. In this ongoing marathon, melodies are effortlessly constructed and easily alternate between crushing riffs and leads, modulations and tempo changes. Solid support comes from the drums blasting through varied patterns in an impressive beats-per-minute spectacle that may cause palpitations. Adding to the intensity and the perpetual fluctuations, the dual vocals – not much of a surprise here - shift from growling to death shrieks constantly. And that chorus on the song “Destroyer” – you won’t’ see that coming. But when it happens, that almost-Gregorian chant adds some unexpected tranquility, and yes, it’s a hair-raiser.
The atmospheric element is completed by the keyboards and the orchestral arrangements, which seem to brilliantly punctuate certain moments or add a bit of sweetness where things get too rough. Far from being dominant, the orchestral moments simply work to create some atmosphere and feel without altering the pace significantly. It just works!
In the end, Inferi prove to be great songwriters in the way they handle the song structure and the melodies, the diversity, and those surprise elements - and are able to take this to a bigger level by employing valuable guest performances.  They demonstrate that melody and heaviness are not antagonist concepts. My personal ‘wow’ factor is the way they escape the gentle(r) moments and build towards restoring the brutality.
As a fan of bands like Obscura, Necrophagist and Beyond Creation, I’d say ‘The Path of Apotheosis’ would be ideal for those who like these bands in particular, but are not too fussy about other melodic genres either. Forget the shred fest, it’s mostly about how well this is put together to create a song with intensity, atmosphere and speed. When the album is over, the silence is frightening.
Inferi are: Josh Harrell (vocals), Malcolm Pugh (guitar/vocals), Mike Low (guitar/vocals), Nevin O’Hearn (bass) and Jack Blackburn (drums).