“The Paradise Gallows”
When we think of epic music, the first thing that comes to mind is usually length. At over 11 and a half minutes, the newly-released title track from Inter Arma's forthcoming album satisfies that criteria. Not to mention that the Richmond quintet's last offering, 2014's The Cavern, consisted of a single track spanning 45 minutes. This time around, though, Inter Arma take pacing and dynamics to another level.
On their 2013 sophomore full-length Sky Burial, Inter Arma blended doom, sludge, grind, black metal, and prog. They offered more of those same ingredients with "Transfiguration," the first track they released off the new follow-up The Paradise Gallows, which is out in July. But now, with the release of the title track, Inter Arma prove they can do more than just switch from an infernal hypnotic roar to acoustic fragility and back again. Sure, "The Paradise Gallows" contains plenty of both, but it flows seamlessly between each approach.
You could even argue that the "heaviest" element of the song is a gentle wail that carries through the spacious passages, while the band manages to evoke a similarly haunted sensation in the crashing parts. In an exquisite show of subtlety, Inter Arma switch the impact of those two modes, somehow oppressing the listener with quieted space and conversely lilting the ear with dense guitars. And unlike with previous material, you never get the sense that the band is trying to wear you down with repetition. Here, every second counts as Inter Arma raise their game far above the standard loud/soft template and give us a more refined taste of a movement we might start referring to as "mood metal."