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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Review: Inquisition - Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith

Reaching the zenith of their sound, Colombian-by-way-of-Washington black metal legions Inquisition have become one of the more impressive and consistent groups in the genre with a vast, enjoyable discography that always manages to satisfy. With the two-man project offering a slight refining and honing in on their sound, their seventh full-length album was originally released August 26, 2016 on Season of Mist.

As was introduced in their last album, this one again carries a strong celestial vibe to the material while still containing that all-powerful and devastating Inquisition attack. Tracks like “From Chaos They Came,” “Wings of Anu” and “The Flames of Infinite Blackness Before Creation” contains that deep, slow churning tremolo rhythm section with plenty of dynamic weaving through the arrangements to incorporate plenty of ravenous thrashing in the scorching up-tempo sections as well as the explosive dynamics within the tempos to go through these varied compositions with stunning and spectacular ease which creates a slew of prototypically savage tracks in their classic style. Alongside these are efforts like “A Black Aeon Shall Cleanse,” “Mystical Blood” and “Power from the Center of the Cosmic Spiral” which drop the savageness and rely more of a massive, majestic slow-tempoed sprawl throughout the rhythms which forsake the drilling speed for a more calculated, expressive approach that’s given a mood-enhancing boost with the use of the cosmic-styled melody patterns written here which drive them forward with plenty of atmosphere and power. This is simply jaw-dropping in approach and style that the album retains an epic vibe without really being an epic, overlong effort, and makes this one of the best of their discography as well as a certain contender for year-end Best-Of as well.

Frankly, this is surely one of the bands’ most masterfully-crafted and enjoyable albums on the whole with barely anything really wrong featured and the power and aggression of their usual material melded alongside the epic melodies working into their sound that this is a must-have record for anyone remotely into black metal or extreme metal in general. 10/10

Written by Don Anelli

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