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Past's dumpster - 55%

severzhavnost, December 1st, 2014

You might be tricked into believing Pestrapture was original black metal - if you hadn't heard, well, anything else. This is chock full of Marduk ripoffs. Decently-played Marduk ripoffs, but still. There's that bog-standard roughshod Norsecore drumming that also offers little noteworthy contribution to the genre. Look, I'm not one of those experiment-or-die types saying you gotta reinvent the wheel every time. But I do appreciate a band at least putting the effort into writing their own stuff.

On the good side, the vocals are not your everyday shrieky fare. They tend toward that lower end pitch that French bands like Antaeus and Glorior Belli favour. This style matches the more violent side of black metal that Inhein prefers in the guitar department too. Trouble is, when the singer does try to shake it up into a more familiar high rasp, he just comes across as being out of breath. "Funeral Rain" is the worst example of this. Being at the end of the album, he's sort of run out of energy. To his credit, he does try and somewhat succeed, at offsetting this by layering the vocal track with some cleans. On the whole, he would have been wiser to stick with the lower tone in which he's clearly more comfortable.

I will also compliment Inhein for not being overly raw, which allows their quite talented bassist to get noticed. He really gallops early on in "Rest in Nowhere", before the song slides into a pretty thoughtless mid-paced riff that was already approaching its best-before date in the days of Those of the Unlight. The bass also shines on "Unlife", backing up what happens to be one of two riffs on the album that doesn't spark deja vu, along with a couple ass-kicking bridges in there too. "Angel of Decay", with its cool arpeggiated opening, staccato verses and squiggly solo, is the only other moment of real uniqueness on display here.

I get the feeling Inhein sold themselves short here. There were glimpses that these Russians know how to balance innovation with respect for their influences in black metal's roots. Here on their first full-length, maybe they just went timidly conservative and stayed too rooted for their own good.