Inter Arma, The Cavern

Zach Kelly

By Zach Kelly

on 10.14.14 in Reviews
A separate, multifaceted universe unto itself

For the genre-splicing Richmond, Virginia, metal quintet Inter Arma, this between-full-lengths release is anything but an afterthought. The Cavern, a one-track behemoth clocking in at over 45 minutes long, was conceived all the way back in 2009, and it has finally gotten the studio treatment it deserves, feeling both like an extension of the band’s terrific 2013 sophomore effort Sky Burial, and a separate, multifaceted universe unto itself. To call it a “song” seems a bit disingenuous, in that it’s constantly moving and morphing in unexpected, sometimes daring ways. But at the same time, it has the cohesion of a larger work, buoying recurring themes and motifs through maelstroms of earth-salting guitar. If Sky Burial hinted at the idea of Inter Arma being a post-rock band stuck in a metal band’s body, the expansive Cavern all but confirms it, mixing dark blues and grays in with the pure blacks. From crushing death marches to twisty heavy-prog to celestial doom to Southern gothic stoner rock, Inter Arma strike several different poses, but never lose the thread. Bands of all stripes should follow their example when handing out party favors.