Inquisition - Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult
Hells Headbangers
Black/Death Metal
10 songs (1:06:06)
Release year: 1998
Hells Headbangers
Reviewed by Vrechek
Archive review

Funny things, cult classics. Famous, infamous, and relegated to obscurity. Overrated, underrated, or just plain "meh". Personally, even if I myself can't enjoy an album that is held dearly by a few dedicated fans, I can still see the appeal of whatever special brand of music they find amazing.

Inquisition is quite literally a cult band, what with their tales of witchery and cults, but also in their quite unique music style and classic nature (at least here on their first album). I've been given the great honor of reviewing the oft-praised and oft-maligned 1998 album Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult. Recently re-released by Hell's Headbangers (hence why I'm reviewing this), it should be all the easier to get your grubby hands on.

That's enough of a nonsense introduction, I'm going to jump into the music. Honestly, I'm not really sure why people bitch about this album so much, as from the eery olde-film sample to the wavering and fading notes I find this to be a fantastic piece of dense and chaotic Black/Death Metal. But hey, I'm getting ahead of myself; I of course have to mention the inevitable talking point of this album. The vocals are . . . unique at the very least. Whereas in Black or Death Metal we are used to shrieks, screams, grunts, growls, and all manner of harsh intonations, Inquisition usually employs a low, monotone and echoey chanting for their vocals. It took me aback and can be a bit silly sounding at first, however after about one spin through the album I found them to be quite appropriate, chilling, and perfectly in sync with the rest of the music.

The songs are built out of essentially Black Metal riffs: cold, simple, melodic, and evil. However they are smashed against a Death Metal framework of thick, muddy production, marching drums, and a heavy and rhythm-centric technique to the guitar playing. Repetition with variation stretches these songs into mini-epics: ethereal narratives that are the mark of great Black Metal albums. There are unique touches too, such as the aforementioned vocals which mesh well with the tastefully and sparingly used samples. There's also one of my personal favorite tracks: The Initiation, which is a plodding Black/Folk Metal track with an enormously catchy riff. The guitar tone is wicked, with fuzziness and bite but enough clarity to elevate the riffs above the melee. I don't really have any complaints about the production; it is distinct where it needs to be, distant where appropriate, and far more suited to this type of music than a clean and modern sound. The drums are noticeably good, which as you might know is a rare thing for me to mention.

This is all building up to be an excellent hidden gem of an album, and yet why do I not give it Classic status? For one, it's not perfect. Some of the transitions are a little embarrassingly sloppy, and a few of the samples are unnecessary or improperly utilized. Also, while most of the riffs are good enough to stand scrutiny under the many repetitions they inevitably go through over the course of a song, the sad fact is that some get old even on first listen. There's also the fact that this album is not historically significant enough to garner a Classic status; it is still tied down by its novelty factor. Still, if you like 2nd Wave Black Metal crossed with other legit Extreme Metal elements this should be right up your alley, as long as you can get past the vocals.

Killing Songs :
All, however The Initiation is a standout for me
Vrechek quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Inquisition that we have reviewed:
Inquisition - Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Inquisition - Obscure Verses for the Multiverse reviewed by Andy and quoted 94 / 100
Inquisition - Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm reviewed by Kyle and quoted 93 / 100
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