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Innersphere - Amnesia

Innersphere
Amnesia
by Martin Knap at 18 June 2018, 2:01 PM

The Czech Republic has not produced Metal bands that have achieved international stardom, like its neighbor Poland, for example, did. There are no Czech bands that are world-renowned like BEHEMOTH, DECAPITATED, or VADER. The best known Czech bands like MASTER’ S HAMMER or ROOT are too quirky to become successful commercially and have more of a cult following (which doesn’t make them less interesting of course). Pilsen, INNERSPEHERE’ s home town, has quite a lively Metal scene, with a number of standout bands like TROLLECH (you may know their “most ridiculous” music video for the song “Ve stinu starych dubu”), PANYCHIDA, STINY PLAMENU or UMBRTKA – but again, some of these acts are maybe too oddball to “make it big”. INNERSPHERE is composed of musicians active in the local scene, notably SELF-HATRED and RETURN TO INNOCENCE, and I expected therefore that their debut album wouldn’t be an amateurish effort.

INNERSPHERE play a mix of melodic Death and Doom Metal with a lot of so called Folk or Viking Metal influences (think BATHORY, ENSLAVED, EREB ALTOR or BORKNAGAR). Maybe it’ s just me buy I find some similarities to the “Epic Heavy” metallers ROOT, with whom they have in common not just their country of origin, but also some of the melodicism, the darkened atmospherics and the overall focus on interesting songwriting. “Shape the Nihilism” shifts between plodding melodic Doom and melodic Black Metal sections. The sudden shifts in the composition remind me of ENSLAVED’ s proggier era, and there even is a very ENSLAVED-like sounding riff. The band's musical chops are on full display here, we get good riffs, memorable leads, and some cool twin guitar harmonies. “Black Forest” kicks off with a fast Thrash riff, then comes a groovy mid-tempo verse, and the chorus is pretty epic - that kind that gives you a gung-ho, let’ s go berserk feeling.

Asylum” is another song steeped in dark atmosphere, especially the beginning of the song with its chanting and creepy organ tones reminds me almost of the atmospherics of ROTTING CHRIST’ s latest album.  But of course we get some nice Epic Heavy Metal riffage throughout the song (I’ m reminded of ROOT again and again) and in the second half it gets pretty ferocious. Things get pretty heated on “Presence” as well, which is the thrashiest song on the album. The song is aggressive, but we also get some infusion of atmosphere, after the bridge there is a nice atmospheric section with some spooky synth harmonies. “Amnesia” is kind of a ballad, it has a nice long instrumental intro, followed by a sorrowful Doom section; the song’s tempo pick up a notch in the last third. I feel like the B-side is a tad weaker then the first half of the album, but still has very good songs like “When Empires Fall” which has kind of a BARREN EARTH feeling to it – and that can only be a good thing.

This album fulfilled my expectations, and I’ m sure fans of this style will find a lot here to like: the songwriting, the atmosphere, the guitar playing, the great musicianship overall.  The production is nice too, you can hear the bass that rubles through the song really well. In the second half of the album there a bit of fatigue can set in, but the more I listen to the album the more I like the songs on the B-side as well. With all the reservations I may have it’ s still an excellent album that I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Proem
2. Shape the Nihilism
3. Black Forest
4. Tell Me
5. Asylum
6. Presence
7. Amnesia
8. Impure
9. When the Empire Falls
10. Deceased
Lineup:
Míra Litomerický - Guitars, Vocals
Kaťas - Bass
Tomáš "Lebi" Lebenhart - Drums
Lukáš Mai – Guitars
Record Label: Metal Gate Records
     


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Edited 17 July 2018
 

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