Format: LP (2 disc)
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With a heaviness that leans more on melancholy than malice, Inter Arma deliver a genre-spanning metal experience with Sky Burial. Where most metal can easily fall under the "apocalyptic" description, the album here has a kind of lonely openness about it that feels more like the soundtrack to the cataclysmic aftermath than the event itself. Even during tracks like "'Sblood," where a stampede of percussion and harmonic feedback creates an almost suffocating oppressiveness, there's still enough atmosphere to create the feeling of the song being inescapable without that sense of claustrophobia one might normally find in black metal. Relying more on melancholy than menace, Inter Arma have created an album that's more about the various moods that metal's many subgenres evoke than their individual songwriting tropes. This focus on ambience really makes Sky Burial feel like it exists in a very specific, and very secluded, space, and while you probably wouldn't want to live there, it's amazing to visit. ~ Gregory Heaney