Tuesday at Reggie's: bizarre black metal from Inquisition

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Fresh from what was by at least one reliable account a "trance-inducing" set at last weekend's Rites of Darkness festival in San Antonio, Seattle-by-way-of-Colombia black-metal duo Inquisition headline Reggie's Rock Club on Tuesday night. Their most recent record, Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm, came out abroad in late 2010 and in the States in January 2011, so though it turned up on its share of "top metal albums" lists last year (it's number five on Black Bubblegum's 2010 Brooklyn Vegan countdown), it's enjoying a second run of best-of appearances right now (it's number nine on Decibel magazine's top 40 for 2011).

I can't talk about Inquisition's music without mentioning Dagon's vocals, which are so odd that you could be forgiven for assuming they're a joke: he uses a dry, monotone croak that sounds like a cross between an evil Popeye and the bottom-heavy Tuvan throat-singing style called kargyraa. I'll be honest, they took a while to grow on me—but now I think I actually like them better than black metal's de rigueur shrieks and growls, which fatigue my ears so quickly that I tend to tune them out after a few songs.

Dagon's guitar playing is almost as distinctive, relying heavily on riffs that cycle like a hypnotist's pendulum, full of almost psychedelic smears and queasy-making leaps and slides. They work just as well against a stiff half-time stomp as they do against one of Incubus's frenzied blastbeats.

Here are a few of my favorite tracks from Ominous Doctrines:

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