Innersphere - Omfalos

Czechia’s Innersphere continue their melodic death metal path with their second full length album, “Omfalos.” If one were to take the heaviest parts of Amorphis (minus the clean vocals or keyboard melodies) and mix them with a little Amon Amarth and some vocal lines from the clean vocalist of Septicflesh, one would get the formula for Innersphere’s music. The music is grandiose without seeming inflated and focuses on some very big riff and drum moments for a strong album that seems just as good as their previous effort. Opening with the atmospheric ‘Presentiment’ which features some beautiful riffs the album leads into ‘The Darkest Hour’ which certainly speeds things up with some great melodies from the guitars at a rather mid pace, much akin to a group like Duskmourn, and switches between harsh growls and the more mechanical cleans. The production is well balanced so everything is heard clearly. Other tracks like ‘Above’ keep those riffs heavy but focus less on the clean vocals and opt for more standard chugs versus the more Insomnium driven melodies heard on the earlier track.

Other tracks like ‘Omfalos’ delve more back into the melodic elements with its slow pace and the more mournful guitar tones, treading almost into doom territory. ‘Wisdom’ certainly capitalizes on this with a complete shift in pace, really making it stand out compared to the rest with its grim, bellowing, Shape of Despair tones. It is heavy, dark, and an excellent embodiment of the overall tone that Innersphere try to convey with their album altogether. ‘Nature Of Sorrow’ does the same but speeds things up just slightly, however with the faster pace the riffs do some a bit repetitive and less gripping versus the slower, more drawn out ones which are much more foreboding, such as on the closing ‘The Fall.’ However, despite this, they are still some great head banging riffs.

The only thing that older fans might miss from “Omfalos” compared to the band’s debut is the thrash department seems a little restrained here. While tracks like ‘Blackness’ and ‘The Embodiment’ are significantly more sped up and certainly more guitar solo focused, Innersphere continues to throw in their melo death bits such as the keyboard/ piano elements that might throw thrash fans off just a bit for those who like their music solely riff focused. Still, while this mix of melodeath thrash isn’t quite Sylosis, the doomier/ gothic touches will certainly appeal to those who enjoy the likes of groups anywhere from Omnium Gatherum all the way to Swallow The Sun minus an abundance of keyboards. Definitely a melodic death masterpiece for those who like catchy riffs and deep vocals without too much in the way of soft interludes that tend to go too long as filler. Not too modernized like Dark Tranquillity but also not too raw or too much of a throwback to a group like At The Gates. Something perfect right in the middle of the melodeath genre.

4 / 5 STARS

1. Presentiment
2. The Darkest Hour
3. Above
4. Fire
5. Omfalos
6. Wisdom
7. Blackness
8. Nature Of Sorrow
9. The Embodiment
10. The Fall