EP Review: INHIBITOR - Abhorrence
Review by Anthony Melbourne
The long awaited debut release from Australian deathcore freshman INHIBITOR is here, after months and months of luring us down the rabbit hole with various singles and videos showcasing their own violent brand of deathcore, ‘Abhorrence’ is finally being unleashed unto the world. Exhibiting a strong songwriting quality that can only be contributed to the various members’ abundance of experience in the scene; executing every chord, tremolo, blast beat and growl with the precision and skill of seasoned pros with an undeniable sense of urgency and focus rarely seen in newer bands.
It's hardly surprising with a veteran line-up featuring current and ex-members of local heroes State of East London, Hollow World, Her Majesty, Eater of the Sky & Kontact, these guys are clearly not here to fuck spiders. Their sound could be summarized by fast and aggressive deathcore with strong elements of technical death metal and blackened nuances with an emphasis on precision and mood – with heavy use of Eerie and haunting discordant chords in the foreground giving the songs dark and brooding textures drawing comparisons from deathcore legends Whitechapel, Carnifex & Australia’s own Thy Art Is Murder just to name a few.
The opening notes of ‘LOATHING’, fading in as if awaking from a dream, but not truly awake, the grogginess twisting reality and blurring the line between sleep and death before the rhythmic barrage of chugging riffs and the line “Humanity so hollow, so who will you choose to follow, come fourth my unholy host, our lord of slavery” comes roaring through the speakers, giving the listener a glimpse of the horror that awaits. Drummer, Michael Hodgson’s relentless bombardment of blast beats and double kick seem almost inhuman at times, punctuating the track with a pulsating groove that gives guitarists Samuel Celli-Bird & Daniel McBride as well as Bassist Declan Hain a vast canvas in which to scribe their blackened infused riffs unto. Jesse Burr’s vocals are tight and aggressive in their delivery and the lyrics are thought provoking without relying too much on metaphors to get his point across, but at the same time the proclamation is clear, this track in particular deals with the traps of organised religion and champions the “think for yourself” attitude. Sure to be a crowd favourite, this song hits hard and fast with an angry and urgent energy that will keep the mosh moving from start to finish.
Second track, ‘BERSERKER’ does little to provide the listener with much reprieve, following its predecessors lead and diving straight into fast technical riffs that could have come out of Psycroptic’s playbook – solid grooves spiral and convulse until culminating in a crushing breakdown, this track again showcases Jesse’s impressive vocal range with high shrieks, accented and layered with his brutal mid-range vocal style, and the occasional guttural thrown in for good measure. Lyrically the song heavily criticizes organized religion, specifically the Christian church’s penchant for praying on the weak willed and disenfranchised with false promises and belief systems in exchange for blind obedience and their life savings, some brilliant lines like – “Masked behind our meaningless lives, Bound is the book of lies and sold back to you at a price” & “We’re all alone in the empty dark, Silence provides no solace and answers when you’re faced with the void”.
‘DEATH’, the second single, released in mid-2020, focuses primarily on the environmental destruction our planet, beginning with a quick sample behind an eerie, discordant soundscape and the opening line, “Welcome to the 21st century, where we kill the earth with such intensity, global temperatures never to recede”, it says it all really; this track speaks of the frustrations of sitting back and watching as our world burns beneath our feet for the sake of greed – accompanied by a fantastic video and some satisfying ‘Demigod’ –era Behemoth vibes, this could easily be a soundtrack to an apocalypse . With an emphasis on Groove with this mid-paced banger, this will be a staple of their live set for years to come and the breakdown half way through the track is sure to keep the pit warriors more than happy.
The third single, ‘CATALYST’ again deals with the complacency of the human race in regards to the slow death of our planet and its uncertain future all for the sake of greed, with ripper lines like “Mistress of life, why won’t you hurry up and die, let's put on our black ties and bleed her till she’s dry”. Instrumentally, this track keeps the intensity and momentum up, with super catchy and sinister riffs, the dark and brooding atmospherics have a ‘Sons of Northern Darkness’-era Immortal feel to it, Jesse’s mid to low range vocals complementing the diabolical riffs perfectly, while final track ‘DREAD’, featuring the monstrous vocals of Mark Poida (ex-Aversions Crown & I, Valiance), this song packs a hell of a punch, continuing the onslaught with tight, fast and truly evil sounding tremolo riffage that feel like a jackhammer to the side of the head, seamlessly transitioning into intricate Swedish death-esque melodic parts and a superb solo section, one could only imagine the pit swirling and head banging in unison to the absolutely brutal breakdown at the end.
For a first release, this is a great effort and shows limitless potential, the song writing's on point and hits hard, the lyrics are well written and carry a strong message. The impassioned delivery of every vocal, note and chord is unquestionable, a mere taste of what’s to come. This is a band to keep an eye on for sure.
'Abhorrence' will be released Friday, September 11 2020. Pre-orders for physicals and merchandise bundles available HERE via Bandcamp.
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