And the gallows of this paradise are quite nice.
Continually reinventing ways to describe the myriad metal genres in the world is likely comparable to continually having to “redefine” the myriad metal genres. This is in attempt to keep sometimes prosaic stylings from going stale. Richmond, Virginia’s Inter Arma have fully reaped that mastery with Paradise Gallows.
Thinking in terms of categorically different music, Inter Arma actually employ a great deal. Paradise Gallow steems with a blend of grim doom, sludgy stoner metal, bonafide Southern rock and a 13th Floor Elevator’s level of psychedelia. Yet, it all begins with the melodically acoustic “Nomini.”
The beginnings of “Nomini” are slow, sort of like the outro music for a dramatic sitcom, but it augustly builds into a ruckus of a track with “arena rock” style guitar playing that carries into an entirely different sounding “An Archer in the Emptiness.” Vocally, “An Archer in the Emptiness” shows the most barreled force, with Mike Paparo nearly breaking out in a pig squeal “bree bree.” It’s almost the opposite of what he does on the next track “Transfiguration,” where his shrill screams are piercing, but easily received.
Yet, it’s “Primordial Wound” that, in all of its 10 minutes of glory, is somehow the most simplistic but most provoking on the album. For most of the track’s duration, it coasts at a fairly stagnate but undeniably colossal pace. Paparo plays with the song’s measures, accenting certain ones with a particular guttural grunt like punctuation to a sentence. If there was a song on the album to be played on repeat, it’d be “Primordial Wound,” even if the process grips over an hour of your time.
“The Summer Drones” comes the most Southern, while “Potomac” bestows classical elements. “The Paradise Gallows” and “Violent Constellations” operate on the same heavy, doomed implications, while “Where the Earth Meets the Sky” ends the album on a slow pace like the opener. As a whole, Paradise Gallows hits many points without compromising any of the band’s or what is widely accepted as metal’s integrity. Consider it one of the better releases in the darker arts of the year.