Richmond, Virginia boasts one of the country’s most active and interesting metal scenes, and that community has been cultivated over decades. GWAR hail from RVA, and every summer, the city plays host to that band’s annual “GWAR B-Q” metal meetup/festival/bacchanalia. Lamb Of God and Municipal Waste are from Richmond, too. And over the last few years, RVA has been exporting excellent new metal acts at a higher rate per capita than any other city in the nation — it’s a crop that includes groups like Windhand, Cough, and Bastard Sapling.
But Richmond’s brightest young stars are Inter Arma, whose 2013 breakout sophomore LP, Sky Burial, came in at #9 on our list of the year’s 50 Best Metal Albums. They followed that with a 45-minute single-track “EP” called The Cavern, which found its way into the highest reaches of our October 2014 Black Market (wherein we count down the best metal songs of the month in question), despite being uncategorizable enough to merit ineligibility. (“It’s not really a song, per se; it’s an EP…but it’s one track…but it’s the same length as the entirety of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas…”)
For Inter Arma, though, “uncategorizable” is the law of the land. The sound they’ve honed is a fine blend of sludge, doom, and post-metal, full of spacious atmosphere and big climaxes … but their insane new song, “Transfiguration,” recalls avant-surrealists Leviathan and Morbid Angel: bands who deal in melodically spare, hypnotically nightmarish variations of black and death metal, respectively. “Transfiguration” is the first single off Inter Arma’s forthcoming LP, Paradise Gallows, and the track arrives with all the album details, too: That’s the cover art above; the tracklist is below; the runtime is 71+ minutes; the album includes “the band’s first-ever foray into clean vocals”; and the whole thing lands in July. The 9-minutes-and-change of “Transfiguration” won’t be enough to tide you over till midsummer, but it’ll sure as hell whet your appetite. Listen.
Paradise Gallows is out 7/8 via Relapse. Pre-order it here. And here’s the tracklist:
02 “An Archer in the Emptiness”
04 “Primordial Wound”
05 “The Summer Drones”
07 “The Paradise Gallows”
08 “Violent Constellations”
09 “Where The Earth Meets The Sky”