Inferi – The Path of Apotheosis

By Laetitia

Vocals: Josh Harrell
Guitar / Vocals: Malcolm Pugh
Guitar: Mike Low
Bass: Nevin O’Hearn
Drums: Jack Blackburn

With the aim to blend melodic metal with a taste of technicality, a group of American musicians from Nashville founded Inferi in 2006. Their efforts to create their own trademark sound resulted in two full lengths: Divinity in War in 2007 and The End of an Era in 2009. But alike some good foods, sometimes ideas and music just need to simmer on a low flame for a while to get better. That’s what happened to Inferi. After a period of silence and brewing new music, the five maestro’s are back with The Path of Apotheosis, the most delightful album the band has produced so far.

To stick with the food theme: this record would be like a meal you’d get in a Michelin starred restaurant. It’s wonderful if you can appreciate every single flavour and if you are able to taste all the layers. For the same reason, it might not be to everyone’s liking.

In terms of comparability, a group that serves a somewhat similar dish is the German technical death metal band Obscura. Yet the music of Inferi is even more layered, adding grand symphonies and choirs to the mix. The first bite, Those Who From the Heavens Came, is a good example of this. When you’ve eaten your way through the first layers, you will find many more: piano symphonies, spiced with insanely fast drums and two types of grunts: high and low pitched. In the end the guitars dominate the recipe. In most songs you’ll hear straightforward riffs, technical solo’s and melodic leads. The diverse guitars are responsible for fading the generally distinct borders between death, black and heavy/power metal.

Every piece of this effort lasts about 4-6 minutes. To get the full taste of what The Path of Apotheosis has to offer, you are in for course of 64 minutes. Some tracks are heavier to digest then others. Take A Betrayal Unforetold. The tune is mainly based on solid guitar riffs. The lightweight melodics that are featured in many of the other tracks do not play a role here.
None of the songs are really straightforward, though what comes closest to uncomplicated metal is probably Destroyer (not taking into account the epic middle section out for a moment).

During the extensive course, there is not a moment that Inferi’s music becomes faint. Since each song has a different structure and has different elements, none of them sound much alike. On the one hand, this makes it easy to listen to the album in one go, as you are constantly seduced with new elements. On the other hand the music demands your full attention. While focusing on a guitar solo, bombastic orchestra’s add flavour, the guttural vocals add pungency and the drums and bass provide for the heavy groundwork. For a lazy listener, this is quite a challenge. If you are such a listener, I would still urge you to give this album a try, because The Path of the Apotheosis is certainly worth the effort.

Rating: 9/10
Track list:
1. Those Who From the Heavens Came
2. The Promethean Kings
3. A Betrayal Unforetold
4. Wrath of the Fallen One
5. The Ophidian Form
6. Prelude to a Perilous Fate
7. Destroyer
8. Onslaught of the Covenant
9. Marching Through The Flames of Tyranny
10. The Ancients of Shattered Thrones
11. The Path of the Apotheosis

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