By John Darnielle
Richmond’s INTER ARMA, reigning masters of the slow build, announce Fall European headline tour dates. The tour begins October 10 in Spain and ends November 13 in Russia. The band is touring in support of their new album Sulphur English. European tour includes festival appearances at Damnation Festival, Desert Fest & more.
INTER ARMA’s impulses tend toward the epic, but never bloat; they meld several styles — doom, sludge, and hard psych — without coming off like dilettantes. This newest full-length, Sulphur English, finds them mining deeper in the proggy organic doom fields that made both Paradise Gallows and Sky Burial so thrilling while expanding further on the psych-folk strain that made those albums' peaks seem so lofty.
Few metal bands have ever made such effective use of acoustic instruments in truly heavy environments as INTER ARMA do; the acoustic guitar that stitches "Stillness" together is as effective as any overdriven bass; a two-minute gloomy piano-and-feedback piece titled "Observances of the Path" rolls out the carpet for "The Atavist's Meridian," an album highlight that rides a gigantic, roomy drum sound into realms akin to a murkier Paradise Lost, a more aggressive Om, and a dreamier, more stoned Kylesa all playing together at once. Few bands make music as engrossing as INTER ARMA; their lengthy, almost meditative songs rumble patiently forward until you're ready to get thrown off a bridge — and then they throw you, with great force.
(Photograph by Joey Wharton)
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