EP Review: Of Sunless Realms by Inferi (The Artisan Era)

Nashville based melodic death metal band, Inferi, released their new EP, Of Sunless Realms, on the 9th October 2020.

Formed back in 2006, Inferi have spent the last 14 years striving to blend their love of classic melodic metal with crushing technicality. The American band have 6 full lengths under their belt though 1 of those is a re-recording of their highly regarded sophomore album The End of an Era and another is a pure instrumental version of their album Revenant. Of Sunless Realms is their first EP.

Inferi are a 5 piece with founder Malcolm Pugh on guitars alongside Mike Low. Steve Boiser is on vocals with Andrew Kim on bass and Spencer Moore on drums.

Inferi of Sunless Realms

Of Sunless Realms comes with 5 tracks, or 22 minutes, of metal to get stuck in to. We open with The Abhorrent Art and it isn’t hard to fall instantly in love with the song. The dreamy melodic intro really lulls you in before the steady drum beat hypnotises you just enough to be taken aback when the drums ramp up to ridiculous speeds. The song shows it’s true face now, hammering you with powerful riffage and insane drums while the vocals hit you relentlessly with a mix of tones and styles ranging from deathcore through to black metal. Blazing guitar lines break up the vocal passages and we end with a dark and heavy breakdown with slamming bass tones and deep, guttural growls. It’s filthy which makes it even more awesome with a high pitched guitar solo suddenly breaks through the darkness. Amazing song.

Eldritch Evolution has the task of following that insane opener and thankfully is more than up for the task. Again the drums are just, well, wow! Mixed with the blackened guitar leads and the bassy riff you get a really full sound and one that makes you want to throw yourself around in a pit. The vocals impress too. The mixed tones add so much to the style of music becoming two instruments instead of just vocals. I adore the clever structure to the song, especially how it moves quickly from the darker, more guttural vocals instantly into a ripping, higher pitches speed delivery.

What a start to an EP and it doesn’t stop there either. Spellbound Unearthed Terror is a banger where the drums appear to have somehow gotten even faster, the vocals slam you with the mixed style and it reminds me a bit of Cattle Decapitation in all the right ways. Guitars rip through leads and melodic lines and solos while the rhythm section pummels you with a quick and punchy riff. I’m also a big fan of the sparse use of backing synth that just enhances the odd bridge here or there. The Summoning follows this and is a shorter track at just barely over 2 minutes long. It’s more of a lengthy intro to the ending song really with some nice atmospheric work, pianos and symphonic choirs creating a heavy feeling that weighs on you setting you up for Aeons Torn.

A drum intro explodes into a grandiose song with huge guitar tones and meaty bass lines. It has an orchestral quality to it. These huge passages are split by a violent assault of death metal. Insane blast beat drums and aggressive yet vocals form a swirling whirlwind of extreme metal. It’s like two different ends of the genre but it blends so well and is truly exciting to listen to. It has so many jaw dropping moments but the best of these is the sudden addition of piano alongside the heavier bits. It’s perfection.

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Mind = Blown. Inferi have smashed it with Of Sunless Realms. It’s the perfect blend of melody and metal, classic at heart but elevated to a higher place with its intelligent structures and progressive ideas. This commands serious respect and Of Sunless Realms instantly jumps to the very top of the best EP releases 2020 has to offer. Superb metal.

Grab yourself a copy of Of Sunless Realms now from their Bandcamp by following the link.

Inferi Links

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Of Sunless Realms by Inferi (The Artisan Era)
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