Russian band Inner Missing have just released their ninth full length Dead Language, recorded at Morton Studio in Kiev, Ukraine“. This phrase, which until recently would have represented mere news incidental to the release of the album, now has a special and much deeper meaning, as it’s unthinkable that this same configuration could be repeated in the short term due to the ongoing conflict between the two Eastern European nations. I close this parenthesis by paying tribute to the St. Petersburg couple, who have immediately taken a position against the war on social media, an act not so obvious if expressed publicly in a moment at a time when dissenting for a Russian is not so convenient for his own quiet life. Coming to the musical aspect, which is what interests us at this juncture, although inevitably passing in the background in terms of importance, Dead Language, the ninth full length in a rich discography, continues the path started with the last albums of Sigmund and Melaer, whose sound has gradually moved from the death doom of the beginning to a more persuasive gothic without giving up its metal component. All in all, this choice, as already mentioned on the occasion of the previous album Deluge, turns out to be apt, because the work of Inner Missing is quite valid, even if it’s inserted in a stylistic field where much, if not everything, has already been said and the only task that remains is to do it with competence and sufficient inspiration. On the whole the operation succeeds thanks to the creation of a melodic and at the same time strong sound carpet on which rests the vocal timbre of Sigmund, who adopts a baritone and evocative style that finds in some passages a certain correspondence in that of Markus Stock with his The Vision Bleak, especially when the songs become more rhythmic even if, in my opinion, everything works better exhibiting softer tones, as it happens with the emblematic title track, or giving vent to the lead guitar (Empty Rooms). In fact, the vehemence that characterizes most of a song like Long Odds seems alien to the context of the work, which returns to the good initial balance with the final Mute and At Sea, in which roughness alternates with caressing melodic openings. The desire to keep the metal roots firmly in place, combining them with different variations on the theme, remains appreciable; Dead Language is an interesting album and not so obvious as often happens in this stylistic field, and if the feeling is that Inner Missing have the potential to express their music even better, they already deserve the attention of the listeners also for not having settled on the comfortable stylistic features of gothic metal.

2022 – Inverse Records