Describing what Missouri's Inner Altar are about musically is not an easy ask, ok they are most definitely a band whose groove is of the doomic variety but calling them just a doom band would be somewhat of a disservice as there is so much more going on here. If trying to fathom out a description for their sonic output is not made difficult enough for the humble reviewer the band muddy the waters further by opting for exotic pseudonyms rather than their actual birth names. So here is an album called "Vol. III" that is slightly genre confused and is brought to you by Lord Rewcifer, Long Feather, Tunks, Seasnake and Strong Smoke....enjoy!
"Prelude", a serene and tranquil acoustic lullaby with baroque/medieval leanings, opens "Vol. III", it is brief yet beautiful but really doesn't really tell you much about the grooves that are about to explode out of your speakers for the duration of this albums next eight tracks. So what is it that Inner Altar bring to the altar that is radically different from what other bands are doing in the doom scene? Well the answer is that Inner Altar's musical outpourings owe as much to the traditional doom of the 80's as they do the post-punk, gothic rock of the same period, the band treading a wafer thin line between the epic doom of Candlemass and the dark art-school meanderings of the UK's Bauhaus. There has always been a tenuous link between "goth" and its heavier cousin "traditional doom", both explore the darker sonic edges of the musical spectrum and both toy with baroque themes and dark romanticism for their inspiration. Inner Altar explore that link with "Vol. III" borrowing, on songs with titles like "Undine's Kiss" and "Mother Eternity", a little from one to mix with the other and creating a groove that embodies the dankness and depth of doom as much as it does the cold, stark darkness of goth, the band blending the two dynamics to create a sound that is wholly original and totally their own yet at the same time still vaguely familiar.
Inner Altar have ,with "Vol, III", taken traditional doom into territories it may not have previously visited, this is not a bad thing, genre's need to be challenged so as to evolve and Inner Altar are a band evolving at an alarming rate.
Check 'em out …..
© 2019 Frazer Jones