Album: Veneration of Medieval Mysticism and Cosmological Violence
Label: Agonia Records
Release date: 26 January 2024
Format reviewed: High-quality digital recording
In terms of the US black metal scene, the band whose name seems to pop up the most is Inquisition. At this point, every self-respecting black metal fan has probably at least heard of the band at some point, and either has listened to their music or started researching into the controversies… which better be left to metal “journalists” trying to get attention with boisterous headlines.
In terms of music, Inquisition are one of the bands that put a strong emphasis on creating a sound and an image uniquely theirs, reaching a point where they give bands like Deathspell Omega and Impaled Nazarene a run for their money in terms of originality. The guitar work, the drumming style and the vocals are entirely unconventional for the genre, but without leaving room for contesting the band’s status as a black metal monolith. They have been putting out bangers since their earliest EPs and demos (Which are actually thrash), but they really showed some personality so to say with their debut full-length album Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult which was soon to be followed up by classic after classic, including fan favourite Magnificent Glorification of Lucifer and my personal choice Nefarious Dismal Orations.
Their latest effort, Veneration of Medieval Mysticism and Cosmological Violence was a particularly pleasant listen, more so for me given that their previous effort, Black Mass For A Mass Grave failed to impress me, although it doesn’t lack anything of the band’s formula for success. This one, however, really ended up growing on me, due to a multitude of factors, from the album cover that caught my eye, to the subtle atmospheric elements scattered throughout the record and of course, the excellent songwriting. It doesn’t move away from the band’s sound at all ( a detail that I am happy to notice because I don’t believe Inquisition are in need of any sort of experimentation and deviation, and their overall sound and style is too good to change, and has been like this for over twenty years at this point), yet it still brings something new I can’t really seem to be able to put my finger on.
The whole album is flawless in terms of songwriting from start to finish, although there aren’t many instances of rhythmical variation, and the vocal performance follows suit. Dagon maintains his classic vocal technique and uses an almost minimalistic approach, with little to no vocal variety in terms of performance. It stays similarly sounding throughout the whole record, which actually brings out the mid-to-slow pace of the album even more. The guitar riffs, however, are a completely different story. The riffing is easily my favourite aspect of the whole album, due to how creative and varied it is. You get everything from classic tremolo sections to groovier segments, and even solos during songs like Light of My Dark Essence which is my personal choice when it comes to picking the best song of them all. There are of course some particular doomy passages which are, in my opinion, absolutely delightful to listen and greatly emphasize the dramatic aspects of the album.
I would consider Inquisition a band whose music has a strong niche touch that can’t be properly experienced through a review. This is why I encourage people to go check out this album themselves. In my case, I more than surely enjoyed it, but it will take some time for it to properly grow on me. All in all, I give it an 8.5/10 Ioana
8.5/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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