Reviewed: September, 2018
Released: 2018, Satanath Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Coming a little tardy to the party with this since it was issued in January – via Russia’s Satanath Records, which is perhaps why it turned up only recently in the promo mailbox thanks to the band’s own outreach efforts. But better late than never. And the third album from Spanish quartet Neter is worth catching up with.
Don’t let the Stonehengey, stoner-style cover artwork here fool you, Inferus offers a potent combination of death and groove metal – with an occasional hint of tech-death – that is anything but trippy and chill. Though it does sacrifice some speed for a riffier, more methodical approach, the album makes up in heaviness what it might be lacking in velocity, especially with the clear, crushing production the band has mustered here.
That’s not to say Inferus is a sluggish affair, as Luis Ruiz retains a steady double-bass gallop throughout. But all-out sprints tend to come in short, controlled bursts, though “Atlantis Of The Sands” and “Endemic Warfare” do maintain their locomotive pace throughout. The band’s beefy sound recalls more recent Decapitated, Gojira or vintage Bolt Thrower, with tracks like “Rebirth Of The Overthrown” and “Galvanize” hinting at Suffocation with their twisty, techy guitaring, punishing grooves and Manuel Gestoso’s fearsome growl and off-kilter cadence.
And though the influences can sometimes be rather obvious, this is far from an exercise in mere idol worship. Neter have taken bits and pieces from here and there and crafted it into a sound that is unquestionably their own. Indeed, for a band that have spent the bulk of their decade-plus on the periphery of the death metal underground – given Spain’s standing therein, or lack thereof, as the case may be, no disrespect intended – they are certainly an accomplished lot.
The songs here are well crafted and delivered with the confidence and authority of a band that have toured longer and farther afield than it looks like Neter have done – not sure if they’ve yet to make it out of Spain. But if practice makes perfect, then here you go, since it would seem these guys have spent a lot of time seasoning their chops and honing their songwriting in the jam room or wherever. And Inferus is worth all of the effort the band have put into it. The album sounds great, hits very hard and, most of all, deserves to be heard.