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Inferno - "Pompa Magna" (CD)

Inferno - "Pompa Magna" CD cover image

"Pompa Magna" track listing:

01. bar / bar / bar minimizer
02. THE YEAR OF THE DINGO
03. WASTE-O-RAMA
04. do androids have sex in electric cars?
05. BIKINI DOG WASH
06. coffinbar equalizer
07. BOMBA MAGNA
08. BURN PARIS BURN
09. the weeping saw
10. THE SECOND TRIUMVIRATE OF LAVONIA
11. (like when you were) the vapour boy
12. DIFFERENT SHADES OF ZERO AND ONE
13. the flatliner
14. THE MAN WITH TWO RIGHT ARMS
15. valhalla can wait

Reviewed by on April 19, 2009

"A sci-fi grind n’ roll frenzy of cool synthesizers, pounding drums, modern metal guitarwork, and fiery screams."

There are some albums that are meant to be listened to in a state of severe dysfunction or under the influence of any number of psychotropic drugs. “Pompa Magna” is not one of them, unless you want to experience lows and highs and a lot of weirdness in one sitting. “Pompa Magna” is a trip itself. Tapping the vein of others like Ephel Duath, The Mars Volta, and Sonic Syndicate, Inferno showcases a wide range of influence in this same bloodline. This involves going from blast beats to trading lines of guitar and synthesizer; from memorable melodic guitar lines to a haunting violin and industrial drums track, with synthesizers and guitars floating about in the air, raising the suggestion that one might be dreaming.

Fans of vintage synthesizers will be proud of their use in “Pompa Magna,” whether they are pumping organ-sounds in the chorus of “Bomba Magna,” ring modulator sounds in “Year of the Dingo,” or beastly organic leads in “Waste-O-Rama” and “The Second Triumvirate of Lavonia”. Often bombastic in nature when not used in the interludes between the distinct songs, the synthesizers do much to craft Inferno’s sound on Pompa Magna. Spaced between the distinct songs, the interludes like “The Weeping Saw” break up the album more than piece it together, but were likely designed to disorient the listener, adding to the freaky nightmarish nature of the album.

The vocals on every track, except for parts of “The Second Triumvirate of Lavonia,” are mostly screams with little variation, but no little intensity. Recalling some of the vocal stylings and general weirdness of Ephel Duath, plus the driving and rising guitar lines of Swedish melodic metallers Sonic Syndicate, Inferno’s “Pompa Magna” alternates from heavy post-hardcore noisy fun to modern heavy metal. The different musical passages on the album will keep listeners hooked for awhile and the intensity level is definitely high. One thing this band is above all other things is coordinated. Everything is well-orchestrated and produced, if not the most accessible.

An enjoyable listen, “Pompa Magna” is full of twists and turns, although Inferno walks paths that others have paved. The only low point of the album seems to be a lack of vocal variation. Overall, it’s a sci-fi grind n’ roll frenzy of cool synthesizers, pounding drums, modern metal guitar work, and fiery screams.

Highs: Vintage synthesizers, textural sound design, and constant intensity level.

Lows: No vocal (scream) variation.

Bottom line: Not the most original, but enjoyably weird and worthwhile.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)