The Selected Breed by In Reverence

Release date: May 26, 2017
Label: Non Serviam Records

2012 saw the release of Hallucination, a punishing five track deathcore EP that planted seeds of a destructive band in the making. In the long years since, two members have left and the now three piece In Reverence of today have returned a more refined well-oiled machine with new album The Selected Breed. There is now almost no trace of deathcore but for a few vocal hints or guitar chugs, instead the band plays an exhilarating mix of atmospheric death and blackened blast beat driven metal.

The mystical oriental melody of opener ‘Jahiliah’ marks an uncharacteristic start for a death metal album, but shows a band pushing boundaries with their rebirth. ‘Gods of Dehumanization’ obliterates from the get-go with Oscar Krumlinde’s bruising blast beats asserting dominance with a fury of skin-pounding drums reminiscent of the apocalyptical industrialised vision of Nexus Inferis. Cruel atonal guitars swarm in the distance culminating in a slowed tighter assault of chugs and tremolo riffs with sporadic bursts of death blasts. The band display their prowess for the blackened around the 1.25 mark with gorgeous restrained black metal drum onslaught and epic atmospheres to match. Haunting acoustic strings and furious blasts see the track to its end, closing a sure-fire crowd favourite. ‘Prometheus’ levels instantly with devastating blast beats and frenetic chugging perfectly raging in harmony with Krumlinde’s precision hits. The track is a glorious mix of death and black with short stabs of grandiose black metal and its accompanying shrill vocal styles all present amongst the more dominant death metal sound In Reverence have.

Title track ‘The Selected Breed’ screams of the chaos and disharmony of the dystopian. Its shifting pattern of world-ending guitars slithers into new shapes and sounds of utter doom-bringing proportions. A commendable song for the guitarists especially that with certain riffs, mainly that “hell yes!” nerve-shredding main riff, evokes that industrialised new world order feeling as well as hints of the end of days maelstrom of Anaal Nathrakh’s ‘Cataclysmic Nihilism’.

‘Red Waves’ is a suffocating and grand-chaotic whirlwind journey through the blackened and deathly song structures that In Reverence have debuted so well. Even an acoustic interlude cannot dampen its crushing mix of black and death metal and explosive vocals. ‘Gift of Disintegration’ builds on a slow dooming intro before storming into one of those telling ‘something heavy comes this way’ guitar breaks. Staggered blast beats open the lid to this boiling pan of cascading riffs, which attack in an ominous wave. Whilst not the most crushing track it’s a fitting way to end before leading into a gentle acoustic outro that finishes off the album proper.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. Almost every track on The Selected Breed ends the same way, with a variation of a strummed acoustic outro. If the band reads this review and would like to enlighten me as to why then I’d be very interested to know.

Whilst writing this review I found myself giving a full track-by-track analysis, which is something I rarely do, instead I opted to leave out some tracks for your pleasure when you go listen (and I urge you to do so) to The Selected Breed. But that said furious hand spasm of creativity is testament to the commendable work this album offers from all players. Guitarist Pedram Khatibi Shahidi flays skin with his flawless string work, knocking out some truly impressive and darkly menacing riffage, whilst drummer Oscar Krumlinde’s explosive stick and pedal work is a pure onslaught of frantic kicks and fills and blistering bad-ass blast beats of inhuman rage and human passion. Vocalist Filip Danielsson growls his way through in true death metal fashion altering his style ever so slightly from the more deathcore Hallucination EP, also offering up some caustic vitriol in form of more raspy black metal vocals, which I’d love to hear more of on their next release.

The Selected Breed is indeed a vicious well-produced statement of intent and just a mere morsel of what In Reverence are capable of. This is truly the kind of death metal I love to listen to. The album latches on to your body and quakes you to your core, leaving you shaken and mentally wasted, but more importantly ready to hit the play button once more. On a final note, I had stumbled across the devastating lead single ‘The Sixth Bloodletting’ before this review came my way and if you don’t fall in love with this band after that climax-inducing blast beaten opening then go jump off a cliff and take your family with you. Headbang your heart out to your new favourite death metal band!

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