• Discover your dark side - A review of Inquisition's ''Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith''

    Inquisition - Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith

    Inquisition is a quite unusual band and so is its seventh studio record. The American duo which was originally formed in Colombia offers an atmospheric, hypnotizing and ritualistic type of black metal. The fascinating thing about this group is that I'm really digging its music even though I'm not that much into black metal and occult themes and would usually not care for a band like this. From a purely objective point of view, the band seems to have quite a few flaws in fact. The low, repetitive and throaty snarls sound rather limited. The band is limited to only two band members and its live shows only consist of guitarist and singer Dagon as well as drummer Incubus and there isn't even a bassist on stage. Musically, the band doesn't vary very much. No song really sticks out. No track tries to explore different soundscapes on this new release.

    And yet, ''Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith'' is easily the best black metal release of the year. The two band members have a great and natural chemistry and complement each other so perfectly that no additional musicians are needed. The musicianship might be repetitive but it's good at what it is and offers some technically appealing discordant riffs and diversified drum patterns. The vocals might not be spectacular but suit the gloomy atmosphere and sinister lyrics perfectly. This mixture of elements creates a truly hypnotizing maelstrom from the very beginning until the very end. The unholy voyage is gripping and mysterious and time passes by really quickly on this record. Pitiless blast beat passages with destructive riffs meet more melancholic discordant mid tempo riffs and precise drum patterns in nearly each track while Dagon stoically performs his ever-grim vocal patterns. These compositions are sometimes interrupted by longer instrumental parts that slow things down at the right moment without letting go off the uneasy atmosphere. Including the appealing bonus track which is a cover of Colombian underground black metal group Typhon, Inquisition offers a one hour one way ride into the depths of Tartarus. 

    If you have a dark side or would like to discover it to free your mind and soul from negative emotions, this is the perfect soundtrack for your journey. Inquisition convinces with its unique approach without any compromises or experiments consisting of one hour of evil musical rituals developing a bleak fascination. It's the kind of music to listen to on your own in your own private space to dream yourself far away to a place of cold, mystery and terror which can be both enchanting and liberating depending on your mental approach to this release. ''Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith'' has tons of atmosphere, authenticity and depth to convince. The more you listen to it, the more this release will suck you in. The highly recommendable limited special edition includes a great bonus track, a simple but cool patch and a full color flag for your musical rituals. If you have an affinity for atmospheric black metal, you simply can't get around this release.

    Final rating: 90%

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