Thursday 9 October 2014

Inter Arma - The Cavern (EP Review)

The Cavern cover art

Album Type: EP

Date Released: 14th October 2014

Label: Relapse Records

The Cavern CD/DD/LP track listing:

01 – The Cavern (45:46)

The Band: 

T.J. Childers | Drums

Steven Russell | Guitars

Trey Dalton | Guitars

Mike Paparo | Vocals

Joe Kerkes | Bass


Mikey Allred | Bowed bass, synthesizers, organ
Dorthia Cottrell | Vocals
Jon Liedtke | Synthesizers, theremin
Meg Mulhearn | Violins
Shibby Poole | Synthesizers


18 months after Inter Arma released their critically acclaimed album 'Sky Burial' the band are back with their new EP 'The Cavern'. A single song lasting 45 minutes. A brave decision to make but when have Inter Arma ever been known to play by the rules. Over the last 8 years or so their signature sound is very hard to define, as each record they have released are all different to each other. The Cavern is not 'Sky Burial - Part 2'. It is a different record altogether. 'The Cavern' is a more psychedelic and experimental offering from Inter Arma as the record combines, Sludge Metal, Doom Metal, Post-Metal, Stoner Metal, Post-Rock, Ambient and Black Metal, for one surreal experience.

The Cavern has much in common with Sleep's legendary album 'Dopesmoker' and the recent albums by YOB and Pallbearer.  The Cavern features a similar Doom and Gloom, matched with heavy atmospherics to take the music into heavier sonic territory. The vocals range from death based growls, hardcore pitched vocals and soulful clean vocals, which I did not expect. It shows that Inter Arma have put as much creativity and effort into the vocal side of things as well as the instrumental work. 'The Cavern' can be broken down into different sections as it can be loud and heavy one moment before it changes direction into calm and sombre affair. Indeed it is a more progressive and experimental compared to 'Sky Burial'.

Inter Arma have Dorthia Cottrell of Windhand fame providing her sublime and powerful vocals. Inter Arma also have Meg Mulhearn of Divine Circles and Shibby Poole from Yautja to provide their unique talents amongst others on the record as well. 'The Cavern' is one of the most progressive and complex records of 2014, Inter Arma unleash a wave of different styles and noises to confuse and delight. This is not a record for the casual listener. This record is for people who like their music experimental and with an air of intelligence that you will not find anywhere else. This record is a thought provoking masterpiece and will cement Inter Arma's reputation as one of the most creative bands currently out there. If 'The Cavern' is being classed as an EP then I cannot wait to see what Inter Arma deliver for their next album. This is a future classic in the making.

Thanks To Relapse Records for sending us a promo to review. The Cavern will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Relapse Records from October 14th 2014.

Written by:  Steve Howe

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