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Inire: Cauchemar

Seven years have passes since Quebec outfit Inire graced us with their debut full length, Born The Wicked, The Fallen, The Damned. With only a self titled EP preceding that album, this lot are hardly prolific in a scene where it's all too easy to be quickly forgotten. However Cauchemar should ensure that Inire fans become quickly reacquainted, a band that describe themselves as a blend of northern groove and stoner metal unleashing thirteen new tracks they clearly believe in. If there's one thing this band don't lack, it's energy, a pulsating production, mix and master from drummer Chris Bonavia creating a sharp tool for them to bury in to your mind.

Now what 'northern groove and stoner metal' conjures up in your head I'm not sure, but with a strong Disturbed meets Adrenaline Mob via Pantera and Alice In Chains vibe, I'm not convinced the brief always fits the outcome. And yet that doesn't mean that what we have here falls below the required standard, in fact far from it. The double guitar hit from Dim Gervais and John Laflamme knowing exactly what it's about; powerful, snarling and getting right down to the nitty-gritty, dirty end of metal. With Bonavia as convincing behind the kit as he is at the mixing desk, his combined force with bassist Fred B. Simard becomes key to the surging force with which this band make their point.

Needless album introductions aren't the rarity they should be in the metal world and unfortunately it's an affliction bestowed upon Cauchemar. Nearly two minutes of angry talking, chimed guitars and a lumbering riff making for a stand offish introduction on first listen and an instantly skippable moment after that. Why the bite and snarl of "Wide Awake" couldn't have spoken for itself from the off, I'm not sure but with "Lord Of The Flies" a needless orchestrated piece with sirens wailing in the background and a French spoken word section, and "Into The Labyrinth" an acoustic pluck and whispered aside, it's unfortunately a trap this album falls into on a few occasions. I'm not suggesting that Inire need to constantly go for the throat in the same style over and over, however I'm not convinced that tacking on three needless pieces that together are longer than most of the full songs is really the way to go. The result being to consistently suck any momentum out of the likes of the spiralling hit the album's title track, "Burn", or the more groove oriented "Far From Anything" possess. However with "Endless" and "Crash" possibly the strongest examples of how Inire can use their varied attack to appeal to your melodic tendencies and predilection for aggression, there's no doubt that when they get it right, they are a match for anyone.

Cauchemar is a strong return, however it could be so much more. That said it could also be much worse and on that level it's difficult not to suggest that you should check this album out. You should, but you'll enjoy it more once you start to weed out the well intentioned dead wood.

Track Listing
1. Avidya
2. Wide Awake
3. Next of Kin
4. Endless
5. Crash
6. Hell is Us
7. Far From Anything
8. Let it Die
9. Lord of the Flies
10. Burn
11. Into the Labyrinth
12. Cauchemar
13. Just a Halo Away

Added: January 1st 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Inire at bandcamp
Hits: 1673
Language: english

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