As some regular readers may have noticed, normal protocols at Hated One Metal Reviews dictate that demos and EP’s are exclusively featured in either our “Ear Hunters” or “Double Dose” series. However, every year or so, an EP comes along that is so undeniably jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, and praiseworthy that granting it a full review becomes unavoidably imperative...and Inferi’s Of Sunless Realms is a perfect example of one of these ultra-rare gems.
Inferi was founded in 2006 by multi-instrumentalist Malcom Pugh (ex-Enfold Darkness, ex-Virulent Depravity), and though it has always been his passion project, heavy commitments to a multitude of other groups at the time of its inception caused Pugh to keep his vision for Inferi on the back burner for most of the first five years of its existence.
In 2011, however, the addition to Inferi's lineup of Oubliette guitarist Mike Low gave Pugh’s passion project the long-awaited boost that it needed. To wit, not only is Low an amazingly accomplished musician who compliments Pugh’s playing style in every conceivable way, but he also runs one of the fastest-rising indy labels that is renowned the world over for its insanely solid roster chockfull of tech death juggernauts known as The Artisan Era. As a result, all of Low’s considerable contacts, connections, and resources were now permanently at Inferi’s disposal, and the stage for the future of the band was set.
Fast forward to 2018, and Inferi were ultimately ready to blossom, although this fact was hard to decipher from afar. Pugh and Low had kept the act high on their list of priorities, but the success of their other projects and companies had held their attention and left them unable to fully focus on Inferi as a whole; and although they had kept the moniker relevant with the 2014 release of the Path of Apotheosis LP, by 2018, only one other single (2017’s “Within the Dead Horizon”) was the only obvious sign that the band was still even active.
But also in 2018, fresh blood, impetus, and drive would all come to Inferi through the additions of drummer Spencer Moore (ex-Animality), bassist Andrew Kim (ex-Seren), and vocalist Stevie Boiser (Equipoise, ex-Vale of Pnath), and the subsequent releases of 2018’s Revenant and 2019’s The End of an Era: Rebirth (a revamped, rerecorded reissue of the 2009 classic LP) put the world on notice that this once humble, Nashville-born passion project had finally arrived.
Now, with their committed lineup of incredibly gifted artists whose fantastic chemistry has them churning out material at full crank, Inferi are returning in 2020 with one of the finest EP’s of the year, Of Sunless Realms, due out October 9th from (who else?) The Artisan Era. Containing five fresh cuts of modern death metal sublimity, Of Sunless Realms represents the pinnacle of this year’s tech death achievements (thus far), and although its status as an EP may withhold its appearance from most end of year lists, its grandeur cannot be understated, regardless of size or length.
Featuring as much speed, technicality, and modernity as a Large Hadron Collider, Inferi have reached new heights of greatness upon Of Sunless Realms, so you’d do well to remember this advice: do not sleep on this epic EP! ‘Nuff said.
To listen to “Aeons Torn”, the first single from Of Sunless Realms, just press play below, and follow the links at the bottom to support the band by purchasing an advanced copy of Inferi’s latest madness! \m/
Rating: 99 / 100 (A++)
Release Date: October 9th, 2020 (The Artisan Era)
Genre : Technical Death Metal
For Fans of: Oubliette, Equipoise, Vale of Pnath, A Loathing Requiem, The Zenith Passage, Archspire, Virvum, Seren, Aronious, Symbolik