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The Infernal Sea - The Great Mortality

The Infernal Sea
The Great Mortality
by Danny Sanderson at 09 March 2016, 6:46 PM

  The Black Death is a period of British, and indeed European, history that lends itself well to the darker side of Heavy Metal; the sort of death, fear and ideas that took prominence in this dark period of history gels well with the sombre, ferocious aspects of Black, Death and Doom Metal. It's a topic that has been touched upon by a variety of bands, but few seem to take this period as a core inspiration for their lyrics and image. THE INFERNAL SEA are one of those few bands, combining aggressive Black Metal with lyrical themes surrounding the Bubonic Plague. "The Great Mortality" their second full length record, builds on the many strengths of their previous releases, creating one of the most memorable Black Metal records of the last couple of years.

  The opening track, "Den Sorte Dod", is a brief slab of dark, dissonant Black Metal that lyrically heralds the arrival of the plague to British shores. It's a great way to set the tone, both musically and lyrically, for the rest of the record. It leads seamlessly into "Way of the Wolf", a fast, ferocious track made up of tight, chaotic musicianship and hideous, acidic vocals. There's plenty of great riffs in here, and it draws the listener in immediately. It's a vicious statement of intent that really sets the bar high for the rest of the record early on. "The Bearer", with its jarring guitar lines and thunderous drumming, is another great example of what this band are capable of. This song sounds absolutely monolithic, dripping with foreboding atmosphere and excellent music. This is among the more varied and eclectic songs on this record, with a sharp, frenetic piece of violin music adding another great element to the already interesting mix. "Purification By Fire", the albums fourth track, is one of this albums most ferocious offerings, with some dark, eerie guitar lines and authoritative drumming driving the song forward, and Dean Lettice's shrill howls drawing the listeners attention throughout.

  "Pestmeester" is a dark slab of hideous, old school Black Metal, with a Hard Rock edge with plenty of chanted vocals added to it. It's got lots of really confident and interesting musicianship on it, and helps to start the second half of this record on a high note. This is quickly followed by "Entombed in Darkness", which is the lead single from this record. This is an incredibly catchy track, and it's hard not to love it. It has plenty of characteristic aggression, interlaced with some slower, eerier sections as it comes to a close. The second to last track on the record, "Plague Herald", much like "Pestmeester", has a really noticeable Norwegian Black Metal influence, with mid-paced, powerful riffs and tight, rhythmic drumming. This is a really solid and memorable track, and grabs the listeners attention right from the opening chords, and prepares us perfectly for the closing track on the record, "Brethren of the Cross"; this is easily one of the more savage songs on the record, with relentless guitar and drum lines, and some great vocals that carve their way to the top of the mix and immediately grab your attention. It's a really good way to close this record.

   Both musically and lyrically, this record is amazing. The music and the themes all tie together really well, and this album definitely builds upon, and surpasses, the many strengths of "Call of the Augr".  It's records like this that illustrate perfectly why THE INFERNAL SEA are fast becoming one of the UK's most popular and interesting Black Metal acts.

4 Star Rating

1. Den Sorte Dod
2. Way of the Wolf
3. The Bearer
4. Purification By Fire
5. Pestmeester
6. Entombed in Darkness
7. Plague Herald
8. Bretheren of the Cross
Geoff Taha- Bass
James Burke- Drums
Jonathan Egmore- Guitars
Dean Lettice- Vocals
Record Label: Cacophonous Records


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Edited 30 June 2022

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