In recent years, I’ve been quite impressed with the modern revival of “old-school death metal”. Pioneering death metal bands from the early 90’s such as Obituary, Grave, and Entombed had a different style of death metal than other bands from that time era like Death or Suffocation. Old-school death metal focuses on dragging, filthy riffs that sound very raw and aggressive, like an old crypt being opened for the first time in a hundred years. It’s supposed to sound disgusting, but at the same time remaining very heavy and maintaining a solid amount of groove. The vocals are usually putrid, ranging from raspy highs to brutal lows. In general, modern old-school death metal retraces the steps of its pioneers, with a few bands adding in something different here and there, such as Venenum.
Some commonly known bands that revived this style of death metal would be bands like Entrails, Under the Church, Rude, Krypts, Vallenfyre and more. For a long list of great old-school death metal albums, go here.
But let’s delve into the underground. Hailing from Spain as well as Sweden, Inert is a new and up-coming band with tons of potential. I stumbled upon these guys expecting something pretty basic, but I was blown away with the amount of fun I had with their EP “Obliteration of the Self”. Clocking in at around 10 minutes, each track delivers a brutal, catchy, bone-grinding experience which can only be described as old-school death metal.
Inert has only released this one EP back in 2016 as of now, and I feel as if they have tons of potential for the future. From the very first track, “Fake Servant of God”, we’re hit with a locomotive of death in the form of a catchy riff, great sounding drums, and low, raspy growls. Halfway through we get a nice solo, and then it goes back into the chaos. Each song is pretty much constructed the same way, however Inert knows how to keep things interesting. The riffs are far from repetitive, and there’s a good combination of slow segments filled with dreadful doom, as well as parts where you can headbang your ass off. The best track on here would have to be the closer, “Son of Certain Death”. Halfway through, there’s an amazing buildup which transitions into a solo so sweet that it couldn’t even be described in words, and right after it throws you back into the brutality.
Inert’s sound is definitely reminiscent of bands like Entombed; the guitars have that low-fi, “buzzsaw” vibe to them, and on songs like “Obliteration of the Self” I definitely felt as if I was hearing something from “Left Hand Path”. Inert clearly has a very keen sense on the type of music they are tying to deliver, and everything just sounds very well-mixed and crafted in a way that flows consistently. When you look at other projects members Xavi Aguilar and Gustavo Garcia have been involved with, they sound nothing like Inert, so this seems to be them creating a new and exiting project which will expand their musicianship. The EP sounds as if they’ve been at it for a while now even though this is their very fist release, and that really makes this band all the more legit.
Truly, if you enjoy bands like Entrails, Grave, Wombbath or Entombed, this is a must buy. I’d encourage everyone to check out Inert and give these guys some exposure, they deserve it. 8.5/10
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