Blackened death metal is a particular weakness of mine. I love the mixture of death metal’s ferocity with the nihilism of black metal. Bands like Behemoth and Belphegor have helped pave the way, taking blasphemy and brutality to new heights. Since France seems to have a corner on the market for interesting variations on black metal, why not add blackened death to the repertoire? War Inside, from Nantes, seem poised to do just that with their latest release S.U.T.U.R.E.
The opening volley of riffs on “Demiurge” suggest that the listener might be in for a brutal death fest in the vein of Suffocation or Decapitated. Indeed, there are many moments throughout the album that lean towards the death side of the sonic spectrum, with the occasional breakdown thrown in, like on “The Milgram Whore.” The real eye-opener here is War Inside’s ability to flawlessly transition between death metal, occasional metalcore forays (think Black Dahlia Murder, minus the mall-goth aspect) and melodic black metal, similar to Dissection. A special mention is required for “Cold As Dead,” a favorite track of mine, with its mid-paced, melancholy black metal feel, which gradually picks up speed before going full-on Behemoth.
The production is pretty solid, giving the guitars a boost in the mix for the black metal sections, and plenty of bass and drums for the more death-oriented sections. Some of the sections sound a bit melo-death/metalcore-ish (again, Black Dahlia Murder comes to mind) but don’t let that stop you, War Inside owe just as much (if not more) to Behemoth and Dissection. S.U.T.U.R.E. is a solid blackened death release from a promising young band that is definitely worth your time.