Hailing from the hotbed of heaviness, Richmond, VA, Inter Arma are busy preparing for their Relapse Records debut, Sky Burial. I have had this album for a few weeks now, and after giving it several tries, I can safely say it has finally sunk in… I get it now! Like all good albums, this one takes some getting used to.

Opening track, “The Survival Fires”, is a huge slab of meaty riffs interspersed with the occasional blast beat. It somehow manages to be catchy while maintaining its black/doom cool kid appeal… not the easiest feat. “Long Road Home Pts 1 and 2” is a lengthy acoustic guitar-based build up that brings to mind early Floydian psychedelia and climaxes with a bluesy Gilmore-esque guitar solo.

While I enjoy a lot of the songs on the record, there are some that miss the mark for me; such as the tribal drum and monotone guitar loops that last entirely too long on “Destroyer” and “‘sblood”, a thinly veiled attempt at the hypnotizing repetition of Neurosis, which would be acceptable if not for the vocalist channeling the signature Scott Kelly bellow, effectively putting it over the top and beyond my tolerance. If I want Neurosis, I will just put a Neurosis record on.

Other than those low points, the record has some really redeeming moments. Bottom line, these guys have a lot of potential… they might just need to channel their own thing and not rely so heavily on emulating their influences.

Track Listing:

01. The Survival Fires
02. The Long Road Home (Iron Gate)
03. The Long Road Home
04. Destroyer
05. ‘sblood
06. Westward
07. Love Absolute
08. Sky Burial

Run Time: ??:??
Release Date: April 19, 2013

Check out the song “‘sblood”