Inert are one of those bands that have a story of people forming friendships where they attended a music festival or got talking over a beer about their love of music and their own bands. These friendships thicken to the point where talks begin of forming a project based around their mutual influences and recording an album that they can be proud of. An album that they put their heart and soul into after months if not years of sending and receiving what each other have done… and which has now culminated in the album Vermin. Released through Neckbreaker Records, a most apt title if ever there was one, Inert started off as a two man project with Xavi from Spain and Gustavo from Chile. The band was created when Xavi moved to Sweden, while Gustavo remained in Spain, that is, it was firstly created as a distance project between Sweden and Spain. It has evolved onto a full working band nowadays though.
Title track “Vermin” comes in with an atmospheric intro that hints that we may be in for some melodic death metal. Wrong! When Xavi wants to play a riff, he wants to play it fast, at the low end and downright dirty. This is brutal, fast death metal the old school way. The vocals, although death metal in nature, are almost coherent and vocalist Gustavo can hold his head high with his vocal performance on this track and the album as a whole. The drumming from Martin is pummeling and can range from all out death metal blast beats to mid-based battery. A very powerful and groovy start to the album.
Inert do like to mix up the pace a little, with doomier influences toward the end of “Bassals De Sang” for example, where they use the concept of melodies extremely well – clearly one of their strengths. There is not too much air guitar nonsense in the leads or complicated breaks or rhythms, just great and tight guitar playing that showcases the hugely talented guitarist that Xavi is. Backed up by a rhythm section that are as tight as you can get, we have a sure fire winner of an album here.
The next track to grab my attention was “Kingdom of Sulphur” where we really get to hear the bass from Paolo much more in the mix with blast beats from Martin. This is probably my favourite song off the album with Gustavo probably displaying his different vocal styles best. The strongest part of Vermin is this melodic intersection combined with intricate picking from Xavi before being pummeled to death with ferocious blast beats from Martin again.
“Values in Decay” follows in the footsteps of its predecessor as does the ballad “Rotten Corpse Feast”. It’s as if the band got pissed off half way through the album and wanted to record some old Vader-type songs. This album required a closer that would kick you in the balls and make you want more and “Vermin (New Breed)” does exactly that. It’s everything every death metal fan would want. Blast beats, groove, the deepest vocals from Gustavo at the end and circling a pit in your own living room.
Vermin is far from their previous output, Obliteration of the Self, what with the heavy dose of Swedish influences. What Vermin shows is a homage to all aspects of the good side of the death metal scene in the early 90s, fusing them all together and along with creative songwriting, have created a very enjoyable listening experience. All four musicians are equally tight and talented and have used their experiences to create this monster of an album. A nice surprise from Spain and certainly one to watch.
Vermin is out now