INNER SANCTUM! That one name that instantly conjures up violent images of broken arms, bruised head and limp bodies from a delirious moshpit. INNER SANCTUM! Now we've all witnessed the imposing force that is the band in its prime form in their live acts. Channeling their never-ending energy to one huge binding force that soon overwhelms the audience, gripping them in their control when all the while they are furiously headbanging to their thunderous beats; INNER SANCTUM, a Bangalore-based tech Death/Thrash outfit are unarguably one of India's best Death Metal bands. They've always kept up to the audience's expectation giving power-packed performance in each of their single gigs, winning many of them all the while playing with an almost God-like stature.
While crowds drove in hordes( by Indian standards) to their gigs, there was a greater expectation to be met by the band for the headbangers out there. And they finally kept upto that likelihood when their debut EP ''Provenance'' released this month. Offering the same intensity of their live gigs, INNER SANCTUM play a brilliant 4 track set, blowing your ears to smithereens. The production quality of the EP is by far one of the best in any Indian Metal releases and this lends an extra credibility that INNER SANCTUM are indeed a formidable act. And that's not it, unlike many other numerous Indian Metal acts selling their 'original' stuff, INNER SANCTUMs authentic sound rides high on the album aping no other acts. This is in fact is one of the many highs of the EP.
Now its not every time you get to hear a song that too a Metal one on one of the most influential villains portrayed on screen- Dark Knight's Joker, however SANCTUM go on to do just that playing a smashing mid-tempo track in ''Agent Of Chaos''. With soaring riffs and lofty double bass beats the track instantly sets up the mood for headbanging. The riffs in fact are razor sharp, slicing through the guitars thanks to their guitarists Chintan and Rajeev. Their pile driving riffs continue to assault your senses alongside Gaurav's guttural vocals in their next tracks '''Quarantine'' and ''Human Disregard''. In fact the killer drumming by Abhinav in "Quarantine", which was available for streaming on their MySpace/Bandcamp page for streaming, immediately sets you to the temper to mosh. ''Human Disregard'' is by far the best track on the EP that plays on a groovy note. The EP ends on a vehement note with the ''Eye Of False'' that has some catchy riffs in its intro.Guest review by Shoubhik Roy
No point in the EP will you ever stop saying yourself. 'Wow', 'Incredibly tight' 'awesome' with horns raised in the air, 'cause that's what they actually are - an abrilliant tight act. There's not a single moment in the EP that leaves you disappointed except in the end where you are left standing exhausted from all that headbanging asking for more intense stuff from the band. But then you cant expect more tracks in an EP. The artwork by Gaurav is quite well done too. Overall ''Provenance'' is an excellent debut EP which's great to headbang to. After a brilliant venture like this, the band sure has more expectations to live upto in their next album. Till then grab yourself a copy of the EP and break your neck headbanging to it.
(Online November 7, 2009)