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Inanes – Acedia Award winner

Inanes
Acedia
by Gary Hernandez at 23 July 2022, 12:47 PM

When I first loaded up “Acedia,” the debut album by INANES (April 29, 2022 on Via Nocturna), I saw there were only five tracks. “Great,” I thought, “another hit and run Black Metal band.” I was pleased to discover my assumption was way off the mark. This black-hearted foursome from Torun, Poland has produced a supremely well-crafted specimen of the dark art. With the shortest of tracks hitting the six-minute mark, each song is a multi-movement composition which drags your soul through an ever-shifting terrain of nihilism. Even the lyrics are exquisite. Darkly refreshing this one.

Promo material present the band as “atmospheric black metal” which would lead one to suspect slow moving, ambient heavy tracks. Not so. “Acadia” is all sharp edges and discordant riffs. The vocals oscillate from baritone chorale to harsh guttural and the songwriting is far more evolved than you would expect to find a debut album. The lyrics are pressing and thoughtful—as in, these aren’t random utterances captured in pen and thrown together against a cacophony of riffs and rhythms. Each song has a penetrating focus with a taciturn intensity that turns on itself. Take the following lines from “Apotheosis”:

“What do you hide deep in your heart?
An empty hole or a whole new universe?
Have no fear to walk straight into it
Whatever you hope to find there,
It will never come to pass
It will never come to pass”

What I love about these lines is how they start off by offering a thread of hope (what do you hope to find?) and end with a bane promise (yeah, that’s not happening). But as the song progresses, it builds in strength ending with “By the curse - of moon and sun / On heavy stones - the oath is made / Recognize Your signs - in the dark.” The bane isn’t a curse but a vow. And the thing is, every song is intoned with similar sweet grimness.

As a side note, “acedia” translates to “spiritual sloth” or “apathy”—one of the seven deadly sins. It has been said that the decline of the world is due to the fact that most people today couldn’t name the seven deadly sins if they had to—that is, we have lost the ability to recognize and name evil. Not sure if that theory holds up, but nothing like some Catholic esoterica to blame shit on. Anyway, back to the album . . .

Every track on this album is a dark discovery. My personal favorites were “The Underdark,” “New Heresy,” and “Lost.” For me the common theme between these tracks is their deliberate, methodical pacing. There is a killer bass break in “The Underdark” that strips back everything and examines the spinal column. In “New Heresy” there are long treks into visceral riffs and epic chorales underscored with subtle, sub-sonic bass. Just when you expect the band to gallop off into a storm of grayscale, they slow it down and delve. And after thoroughly exploring that particular region of the void, they do indeed gallop off and the tremolo riffs and double-bass drums and hellspawn vocals thunder down. Perfect.

The final track, “Lost,” is the consummate closer. At almost ten minutes, it contains in its deadly gravity the vitals of the entire album. My favorite line from the track—“When the light is gone, no one will hear your lamentations”—is spat in total disdain and with perfect enunciation. And then it’s followed up with a demonic rendition of the line, sans the last four words, instead repeating “no one!”

All in all, there isn’t a bad track on this album. For Extreme and Black Metal fans, this is a must have. INANES seems to have formed in the way back of 2017 and the album mixed, mastered, and recorded from December 2019 – July 2020 (by Szymon Grodski at Invent Studio). Not sure why it took two years post-production to get out, but I am damn glad it finally did. Powerful stuff.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Apotheosis
2.  The Underdark
3.  Deathcult
4.  New Heresy
5.  Lost
Lineup:
Mōdor – Drums
Vadus – Guitars
DarkMass – Vocals
Oriens – Bass
Record Label: Via Nocturna
     


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