Inexorable – Sea Of Dead Consciousness (2017)

Of the many bands out there by the name of Inexorable, this is the German strain and a dissonant death metal act at that. Though influenced by Mayhem, Gorguts, Immolation and Portal, on this album there is very little influence from the majority of thoe acts. That’s a good thing, as it shows the act coming into their own sound, regardless of the fact that I am not fond of it. Yes, I’ll say that here now – there are sections of this record that I found to be rather boring and forgettable despite some of the more grueling (and I do mean that in a good way) numbers that I’ve come across during the listen. But before I get to that, I feel that it is necessary for me to disclose one thing – I have no idea who this band is, insofar as the musician/s that compose the music. I’ve looked online and even have the full album sitting right here in my hands. While it displays some rather lovely images of grim death and equally grim poetry, there’s very little else to be had here. I am given the recording date, who mixed and mastered the album as well as some other things – but I’m not given anything else. Nothing of merit anyway. So while I’ve no idea who made this music, I can at least break it down for you.

The album itself is broken into four pieces, each with a Roman numeral of I-IV. Following that we have three covers, which are given enough of a touch-up to warrant their necessity in this album review. When we begin with “I” we’re greeted with odd time signatures and what almost feels like a guitar fog by which deep growls bellow (and I do mean bellow) from within the atmosphere. Sometimes the vocalist will use a clean approach, but noting soft or sweet – rather like an operatic choral chant. Something is being heiled and I’m sure that he only knows what it is. The Germans have after all, been very private about their occult dealings and aren’t quite like we Americans with instagram photos of our latest tarot decks and grimiores. The piece seems a bit subtle, but changes drastically with the beginning of “II” which seems to show the artist’s knack for creating some rather bizarre riffs. After more of the same, we are given a slight acoustic in which a German voice clip enters and some definite Portal influence comes through in the atmopshere. It’s pretty much a dead-ringer for Portal, so I found that impressive. Far more than the first section. As “III” comes in, it feels like it rides directly on the coattails of “II”. I wasn’t exactly pleased with this as things aren’t really progessing much and there seems possibly a bit too much Portal worship. But it is raucous, dissonant and as grueling on the vocal end as you might expect. The piece eventually rolls into a full atmosphere and then to mist, where it ends. The “IV” track is actually not a portion of this recording and is not available on the digital version of the album, so you’ll have to get a physical copy to hear it. It’s much different than the rest of the songs here, so that’s a plus. More effort is being utilized here to create what feels like a creepy, synthy mist with light guitar and frightening vocal effects. Though I guess I was a bit upset when the guitars and drums came into play, because they began to do roughly the same thing as the previous three numbers, albeit with a punchier vibe. The drums are a bit faster and it sticks further to death metal. The track is much longer because of the additional synth atmosphere in the beginning, but it feels as if it overstays it’s welcome, even though I think it is one of the best parts out of the overall performance (read: this should not have been a bonus track at all) and if feels like it would have honestly been better placed as “I” where the rest of the cuts would follow after.

Three extra tracks have been included on all versions of the album, and they are as I discussed, cover songs. Mayhem’s “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” was first on the list, with the black metal approach that you might expect with an added amount of gruel that Inexorable are known for. The odd clean chanting vocal approach seems a bit out of place on this one though, I’ve never heard Mayhem in such a classy, almost operatic form. These clean sections do not last long however, as the death growls return amidst the tremolos. Then after a while more, they intersect with each other. Interesting. Next we have an Immolation cover of “I Feel Nothing” which is a bit less ritualistic obviously and feels more out of character with the act, which is a good thing – it shows a musician playing out of his wheelhouse. Unfortunately, this one kind of comes off bland. There’s just not enough thump as compared to Immolation themselves. The drum software just doesn’t have enough firepower compared to the kit on the original and it comes off a bit unbalanced. Perhaps his goal was to play it in a more grueling (there’s that word again) style, but even with the added “in the name of the father, in the name of the son” in operatic cleans, I’m still kind of bored by it. There was a bit of guitar noodling towards the middle though, which added a hint of a spark to a song where I literally felt nothing. So at least the name fits! All jokes aside, we have the album’s closer and final cover of Mysticum‘s “Black Magic Mushrooms.” Now this cover sounds a bit older, like it was recorded during the band’s last few EP’s and wasn’t ready for release. I still don’t think it is and needs to go back in the oven. There’s too much static, the drums are too loud and the vocals are nearly drowned out sans some shrieking here and there. Its decidedly raw and comes off rather bland, at least to me. Even the guitar solos doesn’t make it out alive, being halfway buried within the static of the horrrible mixing here. If it was even mixed at all!

In any case, I found the experience here to be a mixture of interest and slight boredom. Perhaps that’s not the best way to describe an album, but it definitely fits my observation here. The covers were a nice addition, but only one of them really hit for me. As for the record as a whole, one of it’s best tracks was removed from at least the digital version and was unfortunately a very strong number. I don’t really know why this was done, as it did help to make the overall performance a bit better. I understand what Inexorable is trying to do with this approach, but it ended up slightly putting me to sleep in some regards and that can’t be helped. Sea Of Dead Consciousness is indeed an ominous listen, but you might end up snoring by the time its all said and done.

(7 Tracks, 38:00)

6/10

https://godzovwarproductions.bandcamp.com/album/sea-of-dead-consciousness

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