New Heaven

Inter Arma

INTER ARMA is an extreme metal band from Richmond, Virginia who formed in 2006. “New […]

INTER ARMA is an extreme metal band from Richmond, Virginia who formed in 2006. “New Heaven,” is their sixth full-length album; they have also released two demos, a split, two EPs, and a live album. While the band started as a doom/sludge contingent, over the years they have introduced more and more elements. While their original sound can still be heard at times, “New Heaven,” goes further than ever into the rabbit hole they have found now themselves in. Black metal, post, progressive and psychedelic tendencies and even a little bit of country can be found within this album’s 8 track, 41 minute runtime. Simply put, this album is insanity incarnate and is a trip into madness.

Those unfamiliar with the band might find this album disjointed and lacking flow but after a few listens, it does come together quite well. The band has always had a knack for stringing together very different elements and this album straight up runs with that trend. The title track begins the album and it is a straight up banger. The riffs are the musical equivalent of the twisted wreckage of a freight train, changing into something new as they break off and reform into another curious part—Steven and Trey are insanely creative guitarists and their brains have to be special to come up with, and play, music like this.

’s bass drops HARD, creating huge pockets of deep voids that carry the atmosphere of the song: dark, brooding, yet so densely heavy it is almost hard to believe. Of course, Childers’ drums are just as ridiculously good. His style goes a long way in keeping the foundation together despite the constant musical changes but his playing also allows the ears to move throughout the songs to keep the flow up. “Desolation’s Harp,” is ominous as hell with a monstrous presence. The riffs are slow and doomy, the drums furious, and the vocals are blackened visceral screams and crushing lows. The mix of all these elements makes the atmosphere bristle with unhinged abandon. The sudden melodic twist after the three minute mark is surprising and utterly fantastic.

Gardens In The Dark” is another twist in the band's myth. This a straight up Gothic doom song that is laden with atmosphere and Paparo's strikingly expressive clean vocals. He is versatile as hell, capable of turning from outright violence to thoughtful expression within seconds. I love the sweltering guitar, the thick bass and the precision hit of the thunderous drums. The last song, “Forest Road Service Blues” is a bit too country singer/songwriter for my tastes. With that being said, it also incorporates a Gothic blues depressed atmosphere so it still fits the mood of the album so, why it may not be my thing on a personal level, I do recognize its place and importance on the album.

All in all, INTER ARMA’s “New Heaven,” is a twisted, complex album that changes so much it sounds like there could be two or three albums in here. This is a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective. For me personally, I found it to be an engaging, wild ride that offered many delicious slices of its dynamic pie. Even if some of the individual ideas don’t quite work on their own, they still manage to fit into this strange tapestry as a whole.

8 / 10









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"New Heaven" Track-listing:
  1. New Heaven
  2. Violet Seizures
  3. Desolation's Harp
  4. Endless Grey
  5. Gardens in the Dark
  6. The Children the Bombs Overlooked
  7. Concrete Cliffs
  8. Forest Service Road Blues
Inter Arma Lineup:

T.J. Childers - Drums, Guitars, Percussion, Piano, Samples, Noise, Guitars (lap steel)
Steven "Dirt" Russell - Guitars
Trey Dalton - Guitars, Keyboards, Mellotron, Vocals
Mike Paparo - Vocals
Joel Moore - Bass, Synthesizers, Samples, Noise

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