INQUISITION
Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm (2011) By Ben Cullimore

Inquisition are a cosmic American duo based in Seattle, Washington, originating from Colombia where the band's founder, Dagon, was living at the time. Their latest album, Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm, was released earlier this year, and my word is it their best!

I must admit that Ominous Doctrines… is a slightly odd release for a typical black metal band, but do not let that put you off, and do not think, even for a second, that Inquisition are merely a typical black metal band, because they are so much more than that. Dagon's vocals (which have garnered criticism from black metal fans over the years) are otherworldly, chant-like and totally unique for a black metal vocalist; he himself has expressed that he sees that his vocal style represents that of an unseen entity in demonic form, not that of a human. Upon first listen, these can be off-putting, but as time goes on and the album progresses, Dagon's reasoning behind his choice of style becomes apparent; they fit in perfectly with the album's dark and cosmic feel.

One of the main things that both shocked and impressed me was the band's ability to write such catchy and melodic riffs, whilst still managing to keep that sense of darkness and brutality. Dagon seems unafraid to approach the often-monotonous style of black metal composition with a degree of old-school rock 'n' roll songwriting, and thus achieving the accessibility that it is well-known and well-loved for. But, like the vocals, do not let this put you off. When I describe Inquisition's riffs as "catchy", by no means do I mean that they are at all devoid of evil and heaviness! In no way have the duo softened their tone or "gone mainstream", but instead they have perfected the sound that they have always been aiming for. Elements of thrash pop up from time to time, perfectly placed between segments of pure black metal chaos, classic minor progressions aplenty!

In summary, Ominous Doctrines… is a very solid release, definitely the duo's strongest so far. Clever, catchy and cosmic. What more could you want?

1. Astral Path to Supreme Majesties 04:32
2. Command of the Dark Crown 03:50
3. Desolate Funeral Chant 07:03
4. Cosmic Invocation Rites 04:39
5. Conjuration 00:56
6. Upon the Fire Winged Demon 03:08
7. Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm 05:24
8. Crepuscular Battle Hymn 04:15
9. Hymn for a Dead Star 03:13
10. Across the Abyss Ancient Horns Bray 04:50