Orange County’s metalcore luminaries resurface with the EP Inferno, recently launched almost without promotion. The title is a reference to Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece The Divine Comedy, written in the 14th century. The band said the EP would be “dark, punitive, and hateful”… And punitive it is! 18V bind our wrists and ankles with chains, crucifying us on the altar of regret, contemplating the internal darkness spread before our eyes.
From the outset, the black and red of the cover sums up well the atmosphere transmitted, and the band remains faithful to its habit of creating antagonistic ritornellos lasting between two and four minutes. “Thirty One” tells a sordid story of drug abuse and sexual misadventures: “Close your eyes as you feel the morphine drip / And the thrill will materialize as she crawls into your skin”. This one evokes the powerful riffs of “Tower of Snakes” (Obsession, 2004). It’s noticeable that the gears of James Hart’s vocal instrument are still well oiled after ten years, his ability to play with words as well. He stabs metaphorical animals with knives on “Bleed the Sheep”, probes emptiness with “The Void”, and explores his mortal condition on the atmospheric “Perils of Sin”, a crawling piece that contrasts with the frenetic and malevolent energy of the EP.
Inferno, 18 violent daydreams, 18 brutal minutes for hearts that can’t be satisfied with vain earthly pleasures… James, Trevor, Keith, Josh, throw away the keys and leave us chained to your frequencies.