Inner Sanctum – Provenance

There’s metal albums, and there’s metal barrages. The Inner Sanctum EP Provenance comes under the latter category. They might be the new kids on the block, but these Bangalore metalheads sure know how to give your ears a pounding. Here’s a track-by-track review of the 4-track EP by the I-Rock XXIV winners.

Agent Of Chaos: Subtlety is not Inner Sanctum’s cup of tea – 2 seconds into the song you’re hit with the first thrashy riff, and a variation of that keeps playing with metronomic precision pretty much throughout the song. Which also means your adrenaline will be pumping throughout the song. This kind of riff is custom built for headbanging by thrashers. Customary solo – check. Double bass – check. Sore neck from excessive headbanging – double check.

Quarantine: This is another mid-tempo shred heavy song with a solo about halfway in. Not one for experimenting, this band, but that’s cool. Some bands try to incorporate songs into their shreds, these guys incorporate shreds into their songs and the difference is telling. What really gets you about this song is the groove – instantly memorable and hard to get out of your head. But why would you want to do that? Keep that can of Iodex for your neck, but for now – enjoy.

Human Disregard: For the first time we really hear vocalist Gaurav go above the deep growl and into the higher-pitched yawp, and that makes for a very welcome change from the monotone so far. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same fare.

Eye Of False: This one is a real gem. Dissonant notes play over a palm-muted riff and the overall effect is eerie and powerful. Unlike the straight-out, in-your-face style of the previous songs, this one has more depth to it. There’s even a melodic interlude towards the end, which sounds absolutely beautiful.

A few things that deserve special mention are the quality of the production and the overall packaging. Too often, bands record EPs that sound terrible and kudos to Inner Sanctum for not falling into that trap. The sound is absolutely top-notch and coupled with the packaging, the whole thing comes off as extremely professional. One look at this EP and you know they’re not here to mess around, which makes a huge difference in an industry where bands struggle to get taken seriously.

So there you have it. Provenance is an excellent showcase of an extremely talented band. Sure, I could criticise the repetitiveness of the songs, and how making this work over the course of a full album will be hard unless they start adding some variety to their songwriting. But you’re missing the point if you focus on the negatives. Inner Sanctum have a lot going for them – they are ridiculously tight live, know how to write some killer riffs without overdoing/oversimplifying anything, and each member is more than competent with his instrument. This EP is an advertisement for just those qualities. Provenance is the best 100 bucks I ever spent on music, and I can unequivocally recommend Inner Sanctum live as one of the best acts of modern Indian metal. I can’t wait for the album guys, although my neck may not last that long.

Inner Sanctum on Myspace


About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

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