Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Inquisition- Obscure Verses for the Multiverse(2013)

Inquisition- Obscure Verses for the Multiverse

Inquisition releasing a new album isn't just a big deal among the initiated in the cloak and dagger crowd.  It's a time of furious infighting over Dagon's vocal transformation from early releases like Incense of Rest to more recent releases like Nefarious Dismal Orations.  It's a time when the zealot seeks to destroy "the false"and disinterested, who ask: "What's the big deal?  Now Sunbather, that's awesome."  It's a time of comparisons between different era's, different guitar sounds and different song writing techniques spanning a career of consistent excellence and divisive interpretations.

Obscure Verses for the Multiverse is not just another release.  It's an event.

Don't mistake this for hyperbolic praise for Obscure Verses.  It's merely an observation.  In truth, Obscure Verses is as rock solid and listenable as any release they band have produced, occasionally ascending to something greater.  It's melodic, dissonant, big and ballsy, featuring the cleanest and punchiest sound the band have ever produced, though not quite as sonically massive or warm as Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm.  It's got equal appeal among traditionalists, Black Metal newbies with a hard on for Marduk and those craving walls of atmosphere; this is the most Populist Inquisition release to date.

This isn't a bad thing: Inquisition, newly minted to Season of Mist and releasing Obscure Verses with the biggest budget the duo have ever enjoyed, have every reason to expand their audience.  The fact that they are doing so while remaining 100% true to the sound and style that made them the dark God's of Black Metal atmosphere and intensity is all the better.  This is vintage Inquisition magic: riffs, riffs and more riffs, filtered through a fog of cosmic gas and inter- dimensional diffuse and regurgitated by The Old Gods into sound waves big enough to smother lungs and snap bones.  Dagon rants and raves in alien tongues like an extraterrestrial minister lost in a demonic trance, while a wall of dense sound crashes down upon you.  The budget may be bigger, the guitar sound cleaner and the drums punchier, but this is simply Inquisition rendered in a new light.

Dagon's guitar is a weapon of mass destruction; a mighty axe, crafted from the nucleus of a long dead comet.  It is the lifeblood of Obscure Verses, the center of it's might gravitational pull, and strikes with the force of planetary inertia.  Which is both the most excellent aspect of Obscure Verses and it's biggest failure: this is perhaps the least imaginative and dynamic Inquisition release to date.  Outside of some surprising vocal variety on "Darkness Flows Toward Unseen Horizons," this album feels largely like a complete rehashing of the bands previously ventured paths.  It's hard to argue with the results in the long run, but when stacked up to a discography of almost endless brilliance and consistent redefinition of their sound, Obscure Verses feels like the second time for the first time in the bands legacy.

Yet if Obscure Verses doesn't completely dominate your listening for at least a week, hang up your spurs and buy a Lorde album... or Black Eyed Peas.  Whatever the kids are listening to.  This is such a purely energetic album, bristling with a true love for Metal and what makes this genre so god dame awesome is on full display.  The band are such master technicians, such master song writers and craftsmen, that anything they touch will exude an artistic confidence and listenability few bands can match.  Obscure Verses is more a testament to the artist who created it than the art itself.

Rating: 8/10

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