Inter Arma Sky Burial

Inter ArmaSky Burial
The moniker Inter Arma roughly translates to "war time" and is a part of the larger phrase inter arma enim silent leges, or "in times of war, the law falls silent." Inter Arma make a concerted effort to challenge the unpredictable, easily corruptible periods of unchecked power that can result from martial law on their second full-length release, Sky Burial (the album title itself referring to the funereal practice of ritually feeding a body to carrion birds, effectively burying them in the sky). While the genre they operate within is often simplified to "blackened groove," Virginia-based Inter Arma incorporate elements of everything from psychedelia to doom, with vast, experimental song structures swirling and evolving, evoking Neurosis or Kylesa. There are stoner-y, psychedelic moments, but the tracks never get lost within themselves, instead retaining a clarity of direction and vision. There are vast, sludge-seeping doom passages as well, but they never become crushing or dirge-like due to the infectious energy, the unexpected hopefulness that infuses Sky Burial. Opening track "The Survival Fires" is tense and dextrous, a finely tuned, vast machine, like a walking city. "The Long Road Home (Iron Gate)" is an album highlight, the emotive keys and shiveringly alive steel guitar sapping none of its vital strength and martial stomp. Between their unflagging energy and brilliant execution, Inter Arma have produced a stellar album that will remain memorable. (Relapse)