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Inferi-or? - 55%

TheDeadEndKing, June 10th, 2019

In terms of band volume, tech-death seems to be as common as thrash in modern times. There's a dozen new ones that pop up weekly. After you've heard X number of them, it not only gets hard to differentiate them, but find things that elevate those bands to the next level. Inferi's name has been tossed around as a "savior" in the genre for awhile now. With tons of high praise, I can safely say I was excited to throw this record on. What I was met with wasn't bad. It just didn't deliver what the hype promised.

"Revenant" isn't necessarily bottom of the barrel. The members are eight shades of technically proficient and then some. Jack Blackburn's drumming in particular is not only commendable, but standout work, with punchy, blitzing speed seamlessly dictating the pace of the album through signature changes and proverbial mood swings. The mix is passable, and what I consider the status quo for tech death albums in today's day and age. The vocals kind of fall flat, and fade out in a lot of cases. There's some interesting symphonic moments that almost lean towards a blackened tone throughout. There's really just nothing new or innovative about this that makes it rise above the pack. If anything, something like this being hyped as it was, and delivering this, is a detriment to it. My expectations were high, and fell far below the mark in most cases.

I'm sure if you're neck deep in the modern tech death world, this is your bread and butter. I can see the pieces of it that would appeal to someone like my preferred listens to do me. Like I said, it's not inherently bad. It's full to brim of wild compositions, spidery, sweeping solos, complex bass lines, the whole nine. I simply feel like most of the hype came from the people who really live and breathe this exact brand of tech death, much like some people gush over black metal that sounds like it's recorded through a boombox. "Revenant" represents the middle of the road of modern metal. It's there, not drawing it in a bad light, but not really pushing it to new and unrealized heights either. There are plenty of other technical bands doing far more these days, and this just couldn't match up with them pound for pound. Therefore, it sits where it does rating-wise. It gets that extra 5% on the end for Blackburn being nuts on that kit.

I would recommend this to the people who eat, breathe, and sleep modern tech death. It's more than likely going to scratch the itch for you. For everyone else, I'm not going to say "DON'T LISTEN", but approach it with a slight bit of apprehension. I'd say it's worth at least one listen to see if it's down your alley or not.