With a name like “Angelcorpse,” the listener knows exactly what to expect: technical-ish death metal that owes as much to Gothenburg as it does to Florida. The Inexorable is a rather standard ’90s album with blast beats and guitar work that is less chugs and more riffs, like how our Swedish lords and saviors do.1 Angelcorpse worship Morbid Angel in lyrical delivery: Pete Helmkamp’s death growl/scream is curiously intelligible, a rare feat for the genre.
Interestingly, The Inexorable holds some of the better lyrics in death metal; sure, it’s the same burning destructive misanthropy, but it reads like the Dictionnaire Infernal. “Smoldering in Exile”2 references demons such as Azazael3, Besz, and Apophrasz. “As Predator to Prey” details the actions of a destructive entity in true eschatological form.
The lyrics are a saving grace4 for an otherwise okay death metal album that is neither brutal enough to be headbanging nor progressive enough to be challenging. There are several guitar solos spruced through the album, but they’re all about ten or fifteen seconds long and come after three or more minutes of riffing that sounded fresh on the first track and recycled by the time one is halfway through the album. Only a few songs escape the tedium, which is a killer for an eight track, thirty-eight minute record. The production is occasionally inconsistent, as noted by the change in fidelity between “As Predator to Prey” and “Solar Wills.” The Inexorable has a couple arresting tracks, but it is otherwise a bit too restrained.5
1. Stormgods Unbound – (3:40) – ★★★★★
2. Smoldering in Exile – (5:00) – ★★☆☆☆
3. Reaver – (3:41) – ★★★☆☆
4. Wolflust – (4:46) – ★★☆☆☆
5. As Predator to Prey – (4:25) – ★★★★★
6. Solar Wills – (3:22) – ★★★★☆
7. Begotten (Through Blood and Flame) – (5:45) – ★★★☆☆
8. The Fall of the Idols of Flesh – (3:46) – ★★☆☆☆
1Centinex and some At The Gates are good analogues.
2Which otherwise is pretty boring.
3While Googling this album, I found “Azazael” in a baby name encyclopedia. Apparently it is not in the Top 1000 worldwide names for a baby boy. Sadface.
5Too harsh? Whatever. I’m a little hungover while writing this one.