A Labyrinthine Excursion: INFERNO - Paradeigma: (Phosphenes of Aphotic Eternity) Review

The Czechoslovakian entity envelop the spirit with black metal intricacies.

elijah tamu inferno
Cover art by Elijah Tamu

Words by Luis (@luis.hoa):

If we've learned anything from following the works of artist extraordinaire Elijah Tamu, it's that his cover illustrations are meant to be experienced in synchrony with sonics just as complex. Whether it be Abyssal, Haunter, Midnight Odyssey, or even his own Panegyrist, Tamu's prowess pairs best with works that encourage immersion. INFERNO is no different and with the band's new full-length Paradeigma: (Phosphenes of Aphotic Eternity) just a matter of days away, the Adramelech-led group position themselves at the pinnacle of avant-garde.


Arriving on May 7th via Debemur Morti Productions, Paradeigma follows 2017's Gnosis Kardias (Of Transcension and Involution) and expands upon a conceptual depth that was heavily inspired by Michal Ajvaz' The Cosmos as Self-Creation, Lee Smolin's Time Reborn, and Carl Jung's The Red Book. From physicists to psychoanalysts, INFERNO's lyricism is rooted in analysis and their compositional craft reflects the same interests, as one could tell after getting past the atmospheric opener that is Decaying Virtualities Yearn for Asymptopia.


Once you feel that you've settled in, The Wailing Horizon erupts into a frenzy. Paradeigma sports a duality of beauty and horror that is often kept throughout the record as it bridges the two sonic extremes seamlessly. These two tracks are evidence of that. The Wailing Horizon on it's own is a constantly shifting effort that is at times peaceful and at times explosive. It alternates pace at breakneck speed and showcases INFERNO's exquisite technicality, all while Adramelech's haunting vocal textures loom over the listener. Following track, Descent into Hell of the Future, kicks off at a more moderate pace, though still retaining the same ominous nature of the predecessor. It's structurally rich and surprising, offering different twists and turns at moment's notice like blast beats and an assortment of tremolo-picked riffs.


Guitarist and sound manipulator Ska-Gul excels within Phosphene, a track that offers breathing room after a barrage of hellish Adramelech roars and dynamic Sheafraidh drum performances. Phosphene provides luscious dreamscapes that crescendo at the midpoint. The track is the beauty among the terror and hints at the incorporation of lush instrumentation, similar to that of 80's post-punk. Closing tracks Ekstasis of the Continuum and​ Stars Within and Stars Without Projected into the Matrix of Time are where this kicks in, and like The Wailing Horizon, it presents a duality mastered by the likes of Blut Aus Nord. Ekstasis and Stars Within each span all ends of the sonic spectrum, enthralling listeners with compositional variety that was meticulously arranged rather than forced.


Let it be known that Paradeigma isn't as immediately accessible as its other counter parts in the avant-garde realm. However, in a fast-paced world of constant media exposure, Paradeigma presents itself as a beast that warrants multiple patient listens, listens that requires isolation and full attention for new details are uncovered with each passing one. INFERNO don't tread linear tendencies here and Paradeigma benefits as a result, making it a rewarding experience in every sense of the word.

Paradeigma arrives on May 7th via Debemur Morti Productions. Order your copy HERE.