In the year since Inter Arma released their second album ‘Sky Burial’, the band have toured seemingly non-stop, with three out of the five members releasing and touring an album for black metal outfit, Bastard Sapling, so the mind boggles at how they found time to write and record 45-minute long epic ‘The Cavern’. However, find time they did; amazingly the entire thing was produced while touring, not that you’d know it, as the Virginian natives’ creative efforts haven’t suffered an iota at the hands of their busy schedule.
‘The Cavern’ is a sprawling soundscape that encompasses rich musical textures and subtle instrumental layering. The journey this mammoth-length song takes the listener on is homage to their immeasurable collective talent. The EP begins with serene acoustic sounds, providing a delicate introduction, before massive weighty riffs burst through, giving the entire thing a more robust sense of being.
Vocalist Mike Paparo lends his echoing bellow to large portions of this song, hovering just above the crashing of the guitars like a tattered shipwreck on stormy seas. What comes next is an utterly unexpected passage of serenity, with some clean and mournful sounding vocals thrown in for good measure. This particular sound is completely unexplored territory for Inter Arma, but it’s executed with such flawless integrity that you’d be fooled into believing that this is the norm for them, if you hadn’t previously listened to their back catalogue.
Despite the constant shifts in dynamic and sound, this entire song blends together seamlessly, laying bare the raw genius of Inter Arma and cementing the fact that they are currently one of the most consistent acts within the metal genre.
(8/10 Angela Davey)