|Death Metal, Thrash Metal
Metal Mind Productions (2010), Nuclear Blast Records
January 14th, 2002 / November 17th, 2003
Release length: 37:55
Inwards clearly is the bands moment of genius. The fury of the music on this release is undeniable, as each song on this release just comes at the listener with a furious, blistering intensity that utilizes all the pros of the band’s sounds over the years to create a brutally heavy album that is sure to please many fans of the style. While it packs the same punch of releases by the band Carnal Forge around this time, Dew-Scented weave an album that retains the Thrash aggression with the menacing implimentation of Death Metal chords that bridge some of the more simpler Thrash riffs, adding a hint of well needed complexity to the album, giving it nice edge that will both hook the listener, as well as simply punch him or her in the face. All of this seems to be amplified by the production value of the album, which is the farthest thing from the raw quality of their earlier material, which was one of the main influences to the more brutal sound the band carried with them. Instead, the quality is pretty clear, but the guitars hit at some a heavy pace with the proper amount of distortion that, when accompanying the fantastic drumming and well done edgier shouting that suits this type of music nicely, it causes the music to have a great impact without any of the bite being lost due to a crystal clear digital recording.
THe only problem that Inwards really has for itself is that the music isn’t too varied through the release. Many of the songs seem to follow the same kind of pattern. Of course, the music is executed well and heavy enough to keep the listener interested, but by the time you reach the track “Terminal Mindstrip”, which is one one of the only songs that sounds hollow due to the guitars being a bit too technical, you’ll begin to realize that many songs just don’t sound all that different from one another, and start to lose some interest with the album, but not enough that you’ll put this one into the collection right away. The music on this release is played with fantastic energy that you can’t help but go back for some repeat spins, though the last few tracks on here after “Terminal Mindstrip” sound a little hollow compared to the rest. The closing of “Feeling Not”, however, is fantastic, heavy, and furiously paced, which is sad because the rest of the song sounds somewhat hollow and just doesn’t really have much of an impact on the listener. Of course, the closing track “Reprisal” is hit or miss, as it features some great music, but the regular verses have the same kind of intricate guitar work that caused the prior two tracks to sound a little empty, though this track doesn’t quite fall into the hollow-sounding category.
Other then that, there isn’t much that can be said about Inwards other then that Dew-Scented have stumbled upon a winning formula, and now just needs to expand upon it. Inwards is loaded with great songs, especially at the start of the album. There is no denying some heavy Slayer influence in the formula, but then again what Thrash act won’t take much from some of that band’s material, but it’s far from a case of identity theft, and it’s mostly only key elements, such as the chugging guitar chords used during “Unconditional”, as well as “Life Ending Path”. Of course, these two cannot compare to the energetic performance captured on the song “Degeneration”, leading to a song that just doesn’t stop and even includes some background scremaing to fill gaps and keep the track flowing at it’s fast pace without anything interrupting it.
Inwards is one of six Dew-Scented releases to be reissued in 2010 by Metal Mind Productions, and it’s long overdue to be brought back to the general Metal audience. This release is hard to come by nowadays and sells for quite a lot of money for the original. However, it’s now available as a limited digipack pressing of two thousand. Outside of the obvious collectable value of the original, this is the superior version of this album up to this point. The CD is the label’s signature golden pressed disc, which causes the audio to sound just a little better then the original, though it wasn’t remastered since it wasn’t needed due to the time of the release and how good the production quality on the original was to start with.
The digipack also features just slightly altered artwork, which actually doesn’t look at nice, and you can just tell by looking at it something’s not right. The original had much richer dark, mechanical-like blues and blacks that worked with the circuitry background and wires on the eye. However, for this edition, the artwork has a green tint to most of it, similar to their altering of the Ill-Natured & Innoscent reissue, but it’s in between the already greenish hues that were on the original package, with the left side just being a much more stand out deep blue that conflicts with the rest of the artwork on the album. That winds up being the only downfall, and it’s only the artwork, which that’s been much worse by other bands, as well as by Dew-Scented‘s earlier standards. The real highlights of this pressing is the one page of liner notes that accompany it, being on the right side and not behind the tray that holds the disc like on some of these six reissues, as well as the inclusion of the Japanese release-only Slayer cover song “War Ensemble”, which sounds great and pays tribute nicely to both the band, and such a classic song.
Inwards is hard hitting, intense, and yet somewhat unvaried Thrash thrill ride. Right from the start, it shakes the listener to his/her deepest Thrash roots. Granted, as you go through the album, it does seem to lose a little steam, and become a little bland over time due to a repetitive overall sound, but there’s so much energy on this release that, no matter how similar the songs sound to one another, it still becomes an addicting album that will find plenty of repeat spins, both right away and over time. With how hard to come by the original pressing is today, it’s even harder to find a copy of the Japanese version with the additional bonus track, so picking the 2010 reissue of Inwards becomes a no brainer, and leaves fans no excuse to add this superb release to their collection, other then it selling out.
01. Bitter Conflict – 3:41
02. Unconditional – 3:50
03. Life Ending Path – 3:40
04. Inwards – 3:02
05. Blueprints of Hate – 3:17
06. Locked in Motion – 4:20
07. Degeneration – 3:17
08. Terminal Mindstrip – 5:09
09. Feeling Not – 3:07
10. Reprisal – 4:32
11. War Ensemble (Slayer cover) – 4:48
|Original Pressing Score: 6.5/10
2010 Reissue Score: 6.5/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by Metal Mind Productions.