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Dormant Inferno - "In Sanity" (CD/EP)

Dormant Inferno - "In Sanity" CD/EP cover image

"In Sanity" track listing:

1. Failed Experiments
2. Ashes
3. Total Negation

Reviewed by on February 14, 2013

"'In Sanity' is a dark and demented ride through an ancient asylum still haunted by those who suffered there."

Dormant Inferno has done its homework. The band has studied many albums from favorite European black metal bands intensely, and then decided to emulate those bands. You’d really think these guys are from the cold forests on Northern Europe themselves, but are actually from India. Their E.P. “In Sanity” is a dark and demented ride through an ancient asylum still haunted by those who suffered there.

“Failed Experiments” begins ominously and slowly. Dormant Inferno does include some of the band’s native land into the sound with the soft clashes of cymbals and ominous acoustic guitars in the opening, but when the metal begins, it’s very cold. Sunny Bhambri’s guitar plays a melancholy riff, then descends to the powerful melody and Gautam Shankar’s deep growls begin to speak of woe. This song is straight-forward; it won’t attempt to frighten the listener with mind-bending tricks, but instead tells you what the band is about.

The next song “Ashes” is a much more traditional black metal song, the guitar melody is testament to that, but it has a slowed-down tempo. Shankar’s slowly shrieks with pain in high pitches and growls with contempt; the atmosphere created is creepy and gloomy, especially with the addition of classic spooky synths by Aurko Mukhopadhyay. Shankar sounds like a monster in a cave with his unintelligibly low guttural growls.

“Total Negation” begins with a sweet and sad guitar melody and Shankar’s far away sung words. The guitars speed up the pace a bit before a pause and crunching guitars take over the melody with more spooky synths. The guitar solos are slow and meaningful, and eventually the robot drums begin breaking from the drudgery and play faster and faster. Dormant Inferno then cuts to a surprising, faster part near the end of the song even with a few pinch harmonics, which I so dearly love. The band sounds fantastic at this faster pace - the guitarists are especially having fun chugging along. The tempo reverts back to the slow pace to finish out the last few seconds.

Dormant Inferno did a great job with this album. The mood was dark and anxiety-ridden and had the ability to take the listener to a medieval dungeon. A little bit more polishing, however, could make it be considered truly masterful.

Highs: Very gloomy and dark.

Lows: The one fast-paced part was great, but too short. More surprises like that would be better.

Bottom line: A gloomy, doomy, spooky album.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)