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Inner Sanctum’s Stomping, Rattling Debut: ‘Legions Awake’ Album Review

The Bengaluru thrash/death metal band’s long-awaited full-length album ‘Legions Awake’ is a wrecking ball of chainsaw riffs, groovy drums and vocals that’s nonstop raging

Anurag Tagat Apr 26, 2015
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Inner Sanctum on stage

Inner Sanctum at the Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2015 in Mumbai last month. Photo: Himanshu Rohilla

[easyreview cat1title = “Legions Awake” cat1rating = 4 cat1detail = Self-released]

'Legions Awake' album artwork

‘Legions Awake’ album artwork

The year 2009 was a big year for Inner Sanctum. The Bengaluru death/thrash metal band not only released their debut EP Provenance¸ but also went on to win one of the biggest band competition that year, placing first at Mumbai rock festival Independence Rock. In the six years that it’s taken them to release their next ”“ the nine-track debut full-length album Legions Awake ”“ Sanctum haven’t been inactive, but just building slow and steady with their armory of blistering metal.

Legions Awake is a giant stompfest from start to finish. Inner Sanctum do it all ”“ from the opener “Wake of Destruction,” to the slow-building “Reflections Of The Past,” the all-out double-bass madness of songs like “Realms of Oblivion” and the crushing grooves of the title track “Legions Awake.” They save best for last, with the second half of the album ramping up on straight-up metal on “Tainted Soils” and going into their most intense fit of rage yet, on “March of the Wounded.” If you thought French metallers Gojira were fast, you need to time the riffs and beats on this track. They build up with “Existence Denied,” whose USP includes their best kept secret, guest solos by not just one, but three of death metal’s top guitarists piling on ”“ Christopher Amott [from Arch Enemy], Dan Mongrain [from Martyr] and James Murphy [previously from Death, Testament and Obituary]. They close with “Guardian,” that starts out meditative and quickly morphs into more death metal, vocalist Gaurav Basu unrelentingly spitting fire for the eighth time.

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If you haven’t seen Inner Sanctum open up a portal to hell during their live shows, you’ll have the right reasons to catch them live, after listening to Legions Awake.

Key tracks: “March Of The Wounded,” “Guardian.”

Inner Sanctum launch Legions Awake  alongside Demonic Resurrection and Plague Throat on April 26th, 2015 at CounterCulture, Bengaluru. Entry: Rs 500 [cover charge]. Event details here.

Listen to “Wake of Destruction”

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