Thursday, 2 August 2012

INIQUITY - Serenadium (1996)

01  Tranquil Seizure
02  Prophecy Of The Dying Watcher
03  Serenadium
04  Spectral Scent
05  Mockery Retained to Obturate
06  Encysted And Dormant
07  Son Of Cosmos
08  Retorn

'Serenadium' is the first full-length release by Danish death metal band Iniquity released in 1996 via the Emanzipation Production label. The album was recorded in 1995 at Borsing Studio. Iniquity was formed in 1989 in Copenhagen, Denmark by Peter Houd, Brian Petrowsky and Morten Hansen. The band would go through several line-up changes whilst recording various demos until the line-up for 'Serenadium' was completed with; Brian Petrowsky (vocals/guitar), Lars Friis (guitar), Thomas Christensen (bass) and Jacob Olsen (drums).

The same year that Cryptopsy's 'None So Vile' pummeled  its Canadian listeners into a gelatinous mass, 'Serenadium' dropped like a giant anvil across the pond, leveling Denmark Metal-heads with its brand of equally dynamic and interesting death metal. Recorded and mixed in just 12 days - apparently enough time for drummer Jacob Olsen to record and promptly quit, enabling Jesper Frost to come aboard – 'Serenadium' is quite an anomaly of sorts; a near perfect metal monster that simply proved too destructive for any original band members to remain playing these brutal tunes. By the time 1998’s EP 'The Hidden Lore' was released, not a single original member of Iniquity was left.

The guitar tone here is slightly reminiscent of 'Clandestine' era Entombed, but they are far more inventive in their song structures and tempo changes. It is obvious that these guys can just flat out play the shit out of their instruments. The vocals are beautifully low and contain a feeling of real menace. "Tranquil Seizure" is 6:20 of amazing guitar work and super tight drums and the entire rhythm section. The vocals are perfect in my opinion, very low and guttural, but never gurgled or burped. The guitarist is fond of using pinch harmonics, and does it very well, never coming close to sounding clichéd.

If I'm honest, I can't really point out any weaknesses on this record - aside from the album cover, Iniquity pretty much have it covered from all angles. The production is also very good on this record, with everything whacked way up in the mix. So, it's safe to say that 'Serenadium' is without a doubt worth checking out, as is the band's savage second offering from '99 titled 'Five Across The Eyes'. Iniquity means "unfair" or "an injustice", which is exceptionaly novel given how overlooked these guys are.

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