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Iniquity – Serenadium/The Hidden Lore (Reissue) Award winner

Iniquity
Serenadium/The Hidden Lore (Reissue)
by Jon Conant at 22 December 2017, 10:11 AM

INIQUITY is (was) a Death Metal band that was mostly active between 1996 and 2001, before going silent until 2013 when they came back to perform shows. They have a cult following, and back in ’96 would have been one of the earlier and pioneering bands to emerge from their genre. That makes the idea of what we are about to hear very cool, for it is a reissue of their debut “Serenadium” that includes the re-mastered originals. However, this reissue comes out to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band and nothing more. They performed their last show in November.

All in all, there’s not a whole to this reissue other than celebrating the band, aside from one bonus song (“The Hidden Lore”) to end things. It’s the same album that made them Metal pioneers back in ’96 (but held to today’s standards it obviously falls short). There’s no way of knowing if they would have ever evolved into a modern Metal band over the years, but their obvious talent and potential was well on display even back then.

Album opener “Tranquil Seizure” sets up the “classic” Death Metal riffs (which at the time were of course newer and more blasphemous), along with a technical Prog-like sound to their instrumental work. They’re Death Metal, and they’re heavy, but they also want you to know that they can play their instruments. The lyrics are indiscernible, but it is fine because they are well delivered and well mixed, so you can still enjoy them even if it may require a Google search for lyrics. The most interesting aspect of the reissue without question is listening to the remastering.

The album has ebb and flow. Track two “Prophecy of the Dying Watcher” slows things down at first into a more harrowing Black Metal type of sound, before ending on a speedier note, which leads into the faster almost Power Metal sound of the self titled third track “Serenadium”. The reissue truly does these tracks justice.

Not only that, the technical precision is well on display. Track 6, “Son Of Cosmos”, has some amazingly well performed instrumentals. Especially considering this was 1996, it makes it a huge shame that these guys never had the steam to keep going. To their credit, the band has dealt with many tragic setbacks, from drug abuse to a founding member dying in 2011. With the skill you hear, it leaves a lot left to wonder about what could have been. This is possibly my favorite track on the album. The re-mastering honestly doesn’t make a massive impact, but it does make their technical precision more clear and clearly does the music justice. It matures the sound and grows my appreciation for tracks like this.

Other noteworthy tracks include “Desiderated Profligacy” which has a more Punk and protect type of sound. I also thoroughly enjoyed “Encysted and Dormant”, particularly in the middle section. It features some of the heaviest but also grooviest riffs on the entire album, that makes for a modern sound by today’s standards which in turn makes it all the more impressive in 1996.

Ultimately this is solid but unimpressive as a reissue is considered. It shows a fantastic album from an early Death Metal band in a fresh light. It’s just that it’s limited to simply that. With no other bonus material apart from one track, and the band calling it quits, it’s just a pleasant final note to end on more than anything. Give it a chance if you like Death Metal and have never heard the album before, and you’ll have a nice time and probably get a hit of nostalgia.


Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Tranquil Seizure
2. Prophecy Of The Dying Watcher
3. Serenadium
4. Spectral Scent
5. (Into) Mockery Retained To Obturate
6. Encysted And Dormant
7. Son Of Cosmos
8. Retorn
9. Desiderated Profligacy
10. Notable Diversity
11. Achromatic Chronicles
12. The Hidden Lore
13. Desiderated Profligacy
13. Notable Diversity
14. Achromatic Chronicles
15. The Hidden Lore
Lineup:
Martin Rosendahl - Vocals & Bass
Brian Eriksen - Guitars
Jesper Frost Jensen – Drums
Record Label: Mighty Music/Target Group
     


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Edited 19 July 2018
 

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