Review from The Sleeping Shaman

Posted by Hypnotic Dirge Records on Thursday, June 22, 2023 Under: English
From: The Sleeping Shaman
Published: June 19, 2023

Three years ago, during the middle of a pandemic, needing something to occupy my mind beyond confinement with my then five-year-old daughter, I submitted my first review as a reviewer for The Sleeping Shaman. At the time, I had no real awareness of where this new journey would lead me, but as a fan of heavy music for over thirty-something years, I always felt that I had it in me to at least talk a good album. Since then, I have reviewed some phenomenal records, interviewed some truly lovely people, and have witnessed some live performances which I would have otherwise been completely oblivious to, if it wasn’t for The Sleeping Shaman.

Jump forward three years, and for my anniversary review I have the absolute honour of reviewing the debut album by New York four-piece Inherus. Now, even though you may well have no knowledge of the band, if I were to say the band features members of Forlesen, Witchkiss, Swallow The Ocean, and Lotus Thief, I’m sure the response would be a resounding ‘oh I know them’…. Well, I hope so anyways.

So, what we have here is a melding of those elements and the unleashing of a brand-new band, a sum of its parts you could say as the album is both doom laden and post-rock in equal measures, with a dark ambience thrown in rounding out their sound.

Beholden is six tracks and comes in at just around an hour’s worth of music, so it’s got some bang for your buck. It’s a goliath of an album, which when played doesn’t even feel like an hour in length. It’s a truly engaging, brutal assault on the senses, coming from not one, but two angles. I say this because for every heavy element – the growls, the blast beats, and the chaotic guitar breaks – there are paralleled moments of lethargic ambience, and a deep passion in the music, which transcends genre and category.

The first two tracks, Forgotten Kingdom and One More Fire set the stage. The former and album opener, hits right from the off, and leaves no confusion on just what this band is capable of. Hard hitting and abrasive, its predominantly driven by a harsh guttural vocal against a background of thunderous drum, and ferocious guitar work. By the same token, it only seems to ease off every time Beth Gladding’s vocal comes in, its like having hard edges, with a soft gooey centre.

One More Fire offers a ying to the yang, and where abrasiveness is the name of the game on the opening track, with track two, it’s all about that other side of the band. It feels deeper, less instant, and without so much of that throat punch feel the opener provides. Again, there are peaks and troughs, and each time the growled vocal comes in, the atmosphere changes to suit.

Not to lessen the first two tracks, but it’s three and four where I really fall for the band. The Dagger is a slower paced, and warmer track for me. Beth’s vocals are what I find joy in throughout this whole album anyway, but here it is sublime. There is a truly insane soaring guitar solo too which needs applauding specifically. This track is, for lack of any better description, simply awesome.

Oh Brother, track four, does nothing but solidify just how incredible this band are at catching that all-encompassing, soul filling goodness which we all look for within our music. At times it reminds me a little of one of my long-time favourites, EMBR, with the exception of the vocals, which is softer, and more pensive in tone. All the way through this piece it showcases how wonderful this band are, each musical element is fantastic, and the overall outpouring is justifiably superb. I also find with this track, that the use of combining the vocal elements works better than separating them out, and while it does drive them towards Lacuna Coil territory, it’s more unique in texture.

While the instrumental track Obliterated In The Face Of Gods offers a moment of respite, it only serves as to get the listener ready for track six, Lie To The Angels as its where the band throw everything they are into the mix, and my god, is it something wondrous.

After a funky little guitar introduction, the other instrumental elements crash in and lift this up into the stratosphere. The mix of vocal styles is more organic, which is a bonus for sure. The breakdowns give an opportunity to explore for one last time those more ambient elements, and for me, that’s a real win. By the final third you know it is gearing up to an apocalyptic finish, and it really doesn’t disappoint. Everything, from blast beats, to growled vocals, and those heavy abrasive factors kick in to push it over the edge. All that’s left is one final hurrah, and this comes courtesy of Beth’s vocals as it slips away into nothingness.

Initially apprehensive, Beholden has grown and grown with each listen as I take more and more from it. Coming away, I would feel safe in saying that this is truly a new benchmark being set, and if you get a chance, don’t shy away, as Inherus really are something incredible.

Reviewed by: Lee Beamish

In : English 

Tags: "inherus" "inherus beholden" "inherus metal" "forlesen" "lotus thief" 

 Released: May 26, 2023
Genre: Doom Metal