Inquisition - Obscure Verses For The Multiverse (Season of Mist, 2013)
I wondered before the release of this album what the heck could Inquisition do different, or make better regarding their songwriting? With 5 albums released, most of them already classics, and one of the best guitar players in black metal in the person of Dagon can they top the previous ones?
The debut “Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult “showed already a band with its homework made. Savage black metal riff tornados with an impenetrable dense sound, incredible morose atmosphere, all these reflecting the positive stubbornness of its creators. They never made big changes in their music, they only improved it with time. The previous creation “Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm” was a decent equilibrium between the heavy and skillful instrumental effort and the obscure dark aura, but already giving a changing sign presenting shorter and sharper songs. Seeing the band touring night and day all year, you could guess they will move on even more sophisticated side. Shorter songs, dexterous practiced interpretation, sharpened playing skills and lots of small twists and catches.
While this sounds good in theory, actually this is the biggest problem with the new album. Too technical, too mechanical, too sharp, less dark passion. Also 10 songs are too much for an Inquisition album, even if they clock only around 5 minutes. I miss the days when Inquisition made those 8-9 minute songs where they gave time to build the song, those slowly coming-in epic themes which made the songs a whole are completely absent. Of course there are some good unanticipated themes and twists, but they just fade into something fast or something forgettable, or something too similar to the other riffs.
I feel like they released this album only because they had to. Previously they made 3-4 year gaps between albums, which is normal for great results. A lot of people yelled when they signed with Season of Mist. I don’t think directly they changed anything because of the label, but…They were playing almost every night a show for years now, and that can affect a band. Having to bring out an album every 2 years it’s a pressure. There are a lot of good themes, there are few excellent songs, but the album in its entirety is a let-down. The cover also doesn’t suit Inquisition, I am sure this was the label’s idea… The cut-out dialogues from old movies disappeared also, I really miss them! Another annoying thing is that most of the songs are very fast, leaving very little place for those good old Inquisition slow and mid-tempo themes. Also the songs are quite similar, it is very hard to isolate and recognize these compositions. It’s the first Inquisition album when I had a déjà vu feeling.
I won’t dissect the songs, there is no reason doing that. Every song has good parts, Dagon’s inventive guitar playing is of course still the strongest element in the band, but the album tends to be repetitive and boring. The best song is probably “Obscure Verses for the Multiverse” with slowly building themes, best riffs, less technical bullshit and cool harmonies and the closing “Where Darkness is Lord and Death” is also a good dark Inquisition hymn.
The sound is very good, superb instrumental performance, lot of good tunes, better than the bigger part of the actual black metal scene actually, but it’s the first Inquisition album which is unexciting for me. It’s also the first one I will not buy. It came out too rapid after the previous one from a band who is touring non-stop and has a time-pressure on album-making. Impressive in technique and skills, but that aforementioned dark aura is replaced by the déjà vu sentiment. We might heard these songs before?
by Rob, 2014 July, rating: 7/10