Waking the dead...
Eughteen years after the release of their debut, Uruguayan cult metal band Inner Sanctvm return with their sophomore effort "Christi Testamenta". Never having heard this band before and only knowing that the band is marketed as a death metal band, I expected, on the basis of the cover artwork, the band's name and the title of the album, to hear raw and primitive blackened death metal.
Imagine my surprise upon hearing how groovy the opening track "Machines" is. Having more in common with Gorefest and Entombed's versions of death 'n' roll than with, say, Denouncement Pyre or even Behemoth. While not groovy all the way through, "Christi Testamenta" draws on a number of different metal genres, death-thrash probably being the most prevalent one. There definitely is a general rock-inspired feel to this very riff-driven album, manifested in what seems to be an inspiration from more traditional heavy metal and hard rock. There is even a short and energetic crust track in the form of the micro song 'Trial by Fire'.
The vocals are harsh and range from growls to angry harsh yelling not unlike Peter Steele when he was in Carnivore, and the different metal genres that are represented on the album are fairly well balanced within the framework of death-thrash. The production is a bit rough around the edged and might not appeal to everyone, but, at the same time, it does give the album a feel of authenticity.
A fine comeback, which indicates a potential for even better future albums, Inner Sanctvm's "Christi Testamenta" is an enjoyable album which might appeal to fans of death 'n' role.
Oh, and then there's a convincing cover version of Celtic Frost's 'Return to the Eve' as well as a song from Jesus Christ Superstar.