There are always a select group of bands out there in the world of metal that continue to defy all sorts of categorization, expectations, and boundaries of metal itself. Those are are what some of us simply live for because it’s the unpredictable nature of it all mixed with the daring nature to say “f*ck you” to the known confines of styles like doom and death metal to create an amalgamation that takes influence from seemingly everywhere in order to form an experience that can only be described as unique. Inter Arma is undoubtedly one such act, and it’s their monolithic discography up to this point that has proven that. But it’s with their forthcoming behemoth, “Sulphur English” that this bewildering act seeks naught to astonish and awestruck like records past, but, instead, annihilate and burn.
It’s been three years since the last Inter Arma creation, “Paradise Gallows”, and even after listening to it for that entire time, I still struggle to find enough words to bring together how stupendous that record is in all of its glory, and that’s not even taking into consideration the staggering quality of the entire work before that. So, upon the announcement of “Sulphur English” I knew that literally, anything was on the board for this band. No two albums sound the same from this group, and I knew that if nothing else Inter Arma was going to deliver us yet another immense experience the likes of which the world had not seen before. I’d be putting it mildly if I said my expectations were met because they were simultaneously blown right out of the water with the very presence of “Sulphur English” being enough to shatter planets.
Throughout the entirety of this murderous work, there’s not a single punch pulled nor a single survivor left in sight as Inter Arma was hellbent with this record to separate themselves even more from the commonwealth of metal, and it’s with “Sulphur English” that they have created yet another beast to behold in their near-perfect discography that is by far their most destructive, aggressive, and f*cked up work to date! But don’t let that make you think Inter Arma has abandoned themselves to wholly embrace their death metal influences, for it’s all throughout “Sulphur English” that we’re gifted Inter Arma’s trademark diversity and excellent slow burmns that we all clamor for.
We get the powerful punches like “Citadel” and “A Waxen Sea”, but also very atmospheric works like “Observances of the Path” and “Blood on the Lupines” yet grand masterworks of dark psychedelia and raw fury like that in “Howling Lands” and “The Atavist’s Meridian”. Each track stands as it’s own pillar in defiance of reality and conformity, but it’s through all nine epics that Inter Arma has only solidified their awesomeness and importance to the current heavy metal scene as they’ve shown how a vastly different sound can be something that’s both sedutice and piunishing. We’ve seen that displayed many times over but it’s particularly with “Sulphur English” that we see it taken to an unprecedented extreme.
“Sulphur English” was easily my most anticipated album coming into 2019, and it’s only after much hype for this record that I could feel so relieved and left awestruck to know that Inter Arma has not lost a single ounce of their power. I could not have asked for anything more grandiose or destructive than what we’ve gotten with “Sulphur English” and I’ve no doubt saying that this is a record that’s sure to wave over the metal world, but only a select few will be fortunate enough to bask in the fiery glory that Inter Arma has yet again set upon the world for us to devour.
2. A Waxen Sea
4. Howling Lands
6. Observances of the Path
7. The Atavist’s Meridian
8. Blood on the Lupines
9. Sulphur English