Sound — 7
6 years after the monumental album "Visceral Transcendence," Inherit Disease return with a punishing slab of death metal titled "Ephemeral." Containing 11 tracks that bruise, torture and break your neck I am very impressed with this release. Inherit Disease are a 5 piece "brutal" death metal (I never got that, shouldn't death metal already be brutal?) band from Ventura, California that have released two other albums prior to "Ephemeral." Their previous works showcase a pseudo technical sound with blast beat abuse and super guttural vocals, low enough to scare the make up off of any scene kid. Also utilizing tremolo picked guitar riffs and down tuned breakdowns, smearing the underground into a fine soylent green like paste for the slam monsters to devour.
The debut album, "Procreating an Apocalypse" gives us a raw sound with the above influences and sound any death metal band should have. Gurgles and nasty sounding tones emanate from the debut, giving fans a bite of a bile fried sandwich and god damn it, we enjoyed the hell out of it. After "Procreating an Apocalypse," they unveiled "Visceral Transcendence." This was more tech than the previous offering, and a more cleaned up production so we can really hear everything that was played. Super crisp but not mechanical or over produced in anyway.
Now, 2016. The year Inherit Disease returned to shove shit into our ear holes. Does "Ephemeral" hold up to the previous works? Fuck yes it does. This album sounds like all the rage and anger that they went through as a band to finally release the album. It has all the above mentions of sound and speed that the two prior works had and more. I compare "Ephemeral" to "Procreating an Apocalypse" but with "Visceral Transcendence"'s production. Super raw sounding but with a cleaner sound.
While this album is very good, I find a few flaws behind it. With my first couple play throughs, some of the songs meld into one another creating a flow of barbaric noise. The album plays a lot of the same type of riffs, so it makes the album almost sound like one song. I do like how at the end of "Pixelated Hallucinations," it gives us some breathing room with the sound of this sick, digestion like sound; allowing the listener to take in what he or she just went through. It also refreshes us for the last three tracks of the album.
Lyrics — 8
In this style of death metal, I'm never looking for philosophic speeches that will change my life after listening to a particular song. And so, I found that the lyrics are actually well written. Not going into the gore realm for inspiration, Inherit Disease tell stories with their words... while destroying our sanity with their riffs. The definition of ephemeral is "short lived." So it all ties in with the song lengths and with how many words are in a particular song. Never really repeating themselves gives it a fresh sound.
Now on to the actual vocal performance. Obie Flett is an outstanding vocalist. His lows are very powerful and are full of depth that match the low tuned fury of the music. They never get boring but I wish he would switch it up and go for high screams or even a mid range roar just to freshen the sound... but that's just me.
Overall Impression — 8
I often compare Inherit Disease to the band Pathology just because they are in the same genre and I saw them live on one of Pathology's tours. Other bands I would compare them to would be Disentomb, The Kennedy Veil, Decrepit Birth and most of the Unique Leader Records roster. I don't have a favorite song of the album but I would probably have to say "Pixelated Hallucinations" or the closing track "Drone." "Divergence" also has a sick intro that leads into some brutal goodie yummies.
What I take a way from "Ephemeral" is that it's an album that has been highly anticipated from the fans of Inherit Disease for many years. I love that it still has the ID signature sound; tons of grooves and great drumming. What I don't like is that I wasn't here sooner (the album was recorded in 2013 but didn't get released until now)! Also the above nit picks that I mentioned earlier in the review. I would so buy this album again, and this time I would try and buy it off their merch site as opposed to Amazon (it was sold out on their site... maybe even a new sweater too haha).