Although I almost completely wrote Inter Arma off after listening to a few songs off Sky burial, I reconsidered my position after hearing the Cavern. Very little bands can pull off writing a 40-minute song. Overmars‘ Born again comes to mind as well as an unreleased song by the labyrinthine metal titans in Starkweather but not much else. However, I was even more impressed when after buying the LP at their show I realized the song had first been pieced together before the recording of Sky burial and had only been completed in 2014. From that point, I knew Inter Arma‘s next release was not going to disappoint and I cannot say I have been proven wrong by The paradise gallows.
Now they have proven capable of writing a forty minute long piece, all of the eleven minutes long songs sound like punk rock songs if not for the fact that Inter Arma embodies everything Metal is about. That’s not to say that they want you to leave the hall or run to the hills. Instead, they incorporate elements from almost every Metal genre to create songs where elements of Doom, Death metal, Progressive and Black Metal collide into one. A trained metal head ear will recognize every detail but what matter is the end result is coherent. Transfiguration starts with a menacing stance and slowly incorporates, even more, heaviness until the tone takes a darker turn around six minutes with a universe bending riffs à la Gorguts to find accomplishment into a crescendo drowned out by a never-ending drum roll. Metal storytelling at it’s best! Yes, put that on a sticker on your album.
Then, just as you thought you might have pinned down the band, they start their next song with a drone and some ritualistic vocals reminiscent of Attila Csihar‘s (Mayhem) work on SunnO))). Is the band trying to check every possible reference any hipster reading Pitchfork or watching The needle drop might enjoy? Well, call me gullible but I don’t think so. In fact, I don’t even know in which world you have to live in to hit the jackpot by writing eleven-minute long metal songs with screeching vocals, absolutely no melody and a sole crunching riff similar to a hundred boots marching at the same beat. However, if this world exists, I would like to use your inter-dimensional portal, thank you very much.
I could continue to list and illustrate every song on this album but it would be a waste of your time better used by listening to this fantastic album. Fans of all genres won’t enjoy Paradise gallows but Metalheads with more scope in their listening habits could do worse than give this a spin as Inter Arma cannot stop being glorious at every twist and turn on this album. The production is also particularly remarkable, even on my ridicule laptop speakers which only makes me want to get this album on LP to listen to it with the warmth and range it deserves.