Inter Arma and Thantifaxath make beautifully devastating metal | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Music » Concert Preview

Inter Arma and Thantifaxath make beautifully devastating metal



Richmond quintet Inter Arma have just released their fourth full-length, Sulphur English (Relapse), and it is a monster. The band, who share three members with furious black-metal environmental avengers Bastard Sapling, bring a razor-sharp, savage edge to their lumbering, spine-crushing atmospheric doom. Unlike many superheavy slow bands, Inter Arma don’t make music that feels relaxing or somnambulant—the new album’s down-tempo passages, proggy space voyages, and acoustic interludes provide enough mystery and surprise to keep you on your toes before bringing you to your knees. Southern bands also tend to have a talent for bucolic horror, and in this case, it’s most apparent in the Nick Cave-like gravitas of the eerie “Blood on the Lupines.” The year is still young, but I already know that Sulphur English will make many “Best of 2019” lists when the time comes. Touring with Inter Arma are enigmatic Toronto black-metal trio Thantifaxath (the members prefer to stay anonymous), who have a powerful, distinctive, and captivating sound. Their 2017 EP, Void Masquerading as Matter (Dark Descent), is angular, cold, and claustrophobic, with something uncannily eldritch about the way its riffs and lines intersect at discomfiting angles—and the band’s well-developed sense of beauty only makes the music more fearsome and ominous.   v

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →