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Released: 2009, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
In a time when the metal scene is full of soap opera style dramas and more sub-genre categories than should be legally allowed, I'm genuinely pleased to come across a release like Inner Sanctum's debut EP, PROVENANCE. Inner Sanctum is part of what I like to consider "the new metal underground". The new metal underground is the collection of burgeoning metal scenes that are continuing to pop up throughout the far reaches of the world, such as India, Indonesia, the Arabic states, etc., where in some places, being a fan of metal music can be a criminal offense. Hailing from Bangalore, India, Inner Sanctum is a young five piece that delivers a no-nonsense style of metal that's sprinkled with elements of death, thrash, traditional, and even a wee bit of progressive flavor, making for an impressive first release.
Reminiscent of bands like Lamb of God, Testament, and Nevermore, the four songs on PROVENANCE cover a lot of territory but never come across as forced or imitative. "Agent of Chaos" and "Quarantine" are chock full of crisp, crunchy, groove laden riffs that are interspersed with some tasteful melody lines courtesy of the guitar team of Chintan and Rajeev. "Human Disregard" has a traditional thrash feel to it (a la Exodus or Overkill), while "Eye of False" steps into some borderline prog territory with some entertaining guitar runs and some pronounced work from bass player Michael. Drummer Abhinav keeps the rhythm tight, while vocalist Gaurav sounds like he's somewhere between Obituary's John Tardy and Asphyx's Martin van Drunen, with a deathly scowl that's still discernible to the listener. Even with covering a variety of influences and styles, the songs complement each other and never sound out of place together.
The most impressive part of PROVENANCE is the stellar production work behind it; it's bright and polished from start to finish. Considering that this is a self released album from a new band in a country that likely doesn't have a lot of studios catering to metal music, it really sounds phenomenal (better than some professional releases I've heard recently). Inner Sanctum doesn't reinvent the wheel with PROVENANCE, but what it does with the wheel it does well. PROVENANCE is available for purchase through the band's website.
1. Agent of Chaos
3. Human Disregard
4. Eye of False
Gaurav - Vocals
Chintan - Guitar
Rajeev - Guitar
Michael - Bass
Abhinav - Drums
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