REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Two years ago, Appalling impressed their growing legion of followers with debut album, ‘Secrets Of The Adept‘, which effectively combined metal that was blackened and brutal-sounding with lyrical content which focused on themes of death, degradation, and the collapse of humanity.
Now – in the late spring of 2019 – the Virginia five-piece have unveiled ‘Inverted Realm‘, a follow-up which sees the band firmly build on the solid foundations they laid with their first full-length offering.
Providing a strong opening to proceedings is ‘Hot Coals For Branding‘, which whilst rather lengthy in comparison to the majority of the other tracks, is chaotic, intoxicating, and alarming, with a fast, aggressive pace throughout, led by a gnarling vocal delivering and infectious guitar riffery.
‘Shameful Kiss‘ keeps up the heaviness and high energy, with the vocals and intensity almost cranked up to maximum levels, making for a sound that is very moshpit-friendly.
‘Epileptic Sermon‘ is a rather similar-sounding affair, whilst ‘Artifact And Vessel‘ is slightly slower, but contains grittier riffs, and a bleaker tone overall.
Fifth track ‘A Mutilator At Large‘ is pretty much comprised of three segments, the first and last sounding frantic, fierce, and deliciously evil, with the middle part being calmer, but more anguished, which is represented by the hoarse screaming of the quintet’s frontman.
‘Critical Thinking‘ marks a return to the musical stylings that were present in songs two and three, containing intense bursts of vocal savagery and merciless instrumentals, accompanied by dark, tense undertones, and closing the album is ‘Templar‘, a five-minute riff-heavy number that sees the sound being blackened to its very core.
Overall, although not entirely abundant in originality, ‘Inverted Realm‘ is a release packed full of well-crafted tracks that really capture Appalling‘s penchant for bleak sonic tones, venom-fuelled vocals, and lyrics that are about as far away from optimistic as you can possibly get.
This album comes highly recommended for all of the moshers out there, and further represents a further step in the right direction for a collective who are now rapidly-growing in popularity.
TOP TRACK: ‘A Mutilator At Large’