Many of black metal’s most interesting recent developments have come when bands have either disregarded the notion of sonic boundaries altogether or, as with both Satyricon and Watain, redefined the genre via their own strident collective individuality. However, there remains a great deal to be said for having your face ripped off and shoved up your arse by a flat-out speed’n’Satan black metal band at full pelt.
Whether knowingly adhering to earlier blueprints or not, Inquisition do the basics supremely well, while adding just enough of their own idiosyncratic predilections and utilising artistic wisdom gleaned from their lengthy if arcane lifespan to prevent Obscure Verses For The Multiverse from being just another update of Oslo and Bergen in ’92.
Brief bursts of atmospheric weirdness and jarring discord certainly make the watery grind of Spiritual Plasma Evocation and the lumbering, cracked mirror death-waltz of Joined By Dark Matter, Repelled By Dark Energy stand apart from the majority of US black metal’s traditional wing, but in truth it is the feral attack that Inquisition repeatedly return to here that makes Obscure Verses… so satisfying. Conjuring evil ain’t exactly rocket science, after all.