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Sulphur English

by Inter Arma

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1.
Bumgardner 01:59
2.
A Waxen Sea 07:24
Placid is the toll of the iron bell As its resonance washes against the hills And settles into the dry beds and knotted groves Of the sun-parched valley at rest below. The morning rises guardedly Over a stirring countryside, Illuminating the far off sea. A waxen shield, horizon’s protector. As I stagger up from the sun-bleached tiles, Where in night’s revelry I laid my head, I lean against a rusting lattice and compose my thoughts, My waking eyes held spellbound by a waxen sea. I raise my hands to the sea beyond, Intoxicated by the winds that whip up from her fair shores. I’ll mind any road, be they tranquil or pestilent, Through knotted, olden grove or stone-strewn ruin, To wander her fair shores, To be adrift in the azure, To covet the sea breeze, To daydream upon her dunes. All in due time Placid is the toll of the iron bell As its resonance washes against the hills.
3.
Citadel 06:40
As the seasons turn and spoil A crooked axis guides my way Down unsung paths that burn out The most hardened of drifters. Still I wander endlessly Through houses turned to graves. A stone in the eye of humankind, Forever at bay. Held captive by untold wounds Of corporeal and psychic root, Aloft in a storm of unseen anguish Where joy and sorrow entwine. Can I shake free the detritus of these countless, vagrant years? Can I harness the wild flame that lays dormant deep within? Still I wander endlessly Through houses turned to graves. A stone in the eye of humankind, Forever at bay. Held captive by untold wounds Of corporeal and psychic root, Aloft in a storm of unseen anguish Where joy and sorrow entwine. A fire burns deep in the citadel of my heart. I will break free from captivity. I will weather the storm. I will shake free from detritus. I will harness the wild flame.
4.
Beasts high atop Drab slag heaps Hammer their drums, Stirring their keeps. “And they’ll pray to their Gods To calm that which aches, As they dig their way To the center of Hell.” Hubris-wrought flocks Toil under duress, Fleshed with ego, Tamed with distress. “And they’ll pray to their Gods For a mercy so sweet As they dig their way To the center of Hell.” The flock toils, the beasts oversee. “They’ll howl for their Gods, Convinced they’ll pay heed As their chorus is strangled By the pounding of the drums.” Beasts high atop Drab slag heaps Will hammer their drums Into the center of Hell.
5.
Stillness 09:04
At dusk We’ll coax the old brook to sing A hymn To quell the will of the night. Restless, We’ll sway to its primeval song, Enchanted By the fires burning within. Restless At dawn We’ll sing the old brook to sleep. A hymn To quiet the roar of the day. In stillness, We’ll lay on its primeval banks, Weary From the fires burning within. Stillness
6.
7.
Regale us once more With the tales you used to chronicle, When we were but callow And all was new, Of age old myths Both formidable and sublime, Of gallant feats That gripped our fledgling minds, Of a spirited people And their bucolic wisdoms, From the land in which you grew, From the land in which you pine. An atavist you’ve always been. A pastoral dream Swells in your soul, Evoking the spirit Of soil left behind. A yearning profound Captivates the senses, Flooding your heart With lucid recollections Of burning days Tending to vine and herd, Of blackest nights Gazing at the heavens. Cry out for the hills And their ancestral paths. Weep in remembrance Of those so revered. The mortal hours are waning. Return to her. Drink from her soundless waters If you truly wish to sing. Ascend her sun-gilded peaks If you truly wish to climb. And when her winds come to reap your earthly vessel, Only then will you truly know you have lived. Return to her. An atavist you’ve always been.
8.
As the sun bids farewell To this dusty wash, Its last thin rays Kindle tiny stars That dance In no particular time— Specks of stray glass That collect the last hints Of the fleeting light. As darkness grips This wayward land, Scant flickers of transient light Frolic in the distance — A sure sign of some dreary town. So I wander through the night ‘Til I reach its shadowy edge, Where gravestones lay between Shuttered homes and rusting hulks, Where I see her figure, Faceless in the gloom, And she says: “Turn away! These people are held by a cursed star. There’s blood on the lupines and a fever in this town.”
9.
Beware the charlatan Slinking amongst The pallid colonnades. Beware his garb Of threads woven In gilded opulence. Beware his forked tongue: Its diction foul and impenitent, Delivered on the winds of sulphur’s breath; Its noxious arguments Crudely spun into a mesh of bedlam and fallacy. The charlatan sets his eyes towards the throne, Tongue adrip in revolting ecstasy. And the lackeys gnash their pearly teeth, Pining for his next decree, Erect and euphoric with unquenched delusion, Thirsting for a power absolute. Their intentions reek of an impure faith Born from the promise of a glutton’s lust. Their minds too dull and weak-willed to break, Servants to the charlatan’s every desire. Sever the corrupt tongue Of the imperious fool. Silence the gangrenous root Of his abhorrent voice. Beware the charlatan Slinking amongst The pallid colonnades. Sever the corrupt tongue Of the imperious fool. Silence the gangrenous root Of his abhorrent voice.

about

Richmond's INTER ARMA, reigning masters of the slow build, continue to trace a distinctly ambitious trajectory through modern metal. Their impulses tend toward the epic, but never bloat; they meld several styles — doom, sludge, and hard psych — without coming off like dilettantes. This newest full-length, Sulphur English, finds them mining deeper in the proggy organic doom fields that made both Paradise Gallows and Sky Burial so thrilling while expanding further the on the psych-folk strain that made those albums' peaks seem so lofty.

Few metal bands have ever made such effective use of acoustic instruments in truly heavy environments as INTER ARMA do; the acoustic guitar that stitches "Stillness" together is as effective as any overdriven bass; a two-minute gloomy piano-and-feedback piece titled "Observances of the Path" rolls out the carpet for "The Atavist's Meridian," an album highlight that rides a gigantic, roomy drum sound into realms akin to a murkier Paradise Lost, a more aggressive Om, and a dreamier, more stoned Kylesa all playing together at once. Few bands make music as engrossing as INTER ARMA; their lengthy, almost meditative songs rumble patiently forward until you're ready to get thrown off a bridge — and then they throw you, with great force.
- Words by John Darnielle

credits

released April 12, 2019

2019 Relapse Records
www.relapse.com
relapserecords.bandcamp.com

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Inter Arma Richmond, Virginia

INTER ARMA's music resists generalization and categorization, but one thing that's consistently true, is that the VA quintet possesses an unparalleled sense of scope. Few artists convey the complexity that INTER ARMA (Latin for "in times of war") does. The band creates terrible and often hauntingly beautiful portraits of humanity through music that is deeply organic yet still mystical and modern. ... more

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