Inner Sanctum is a death/thrash metal band based out of Bangalore, India. The band has been one of the figureheads of the Indian metal scene for more than a decade and has won numerous awards during the time it has been active. Inner Sanctum has also opened for just about every major international metal artist that has performed in India.
Some of those are Metallica (Rock N India 2011), Slayer (Rock N India 2012), Testament, Periphery, Enslaved, Amon Amarth, Cradle of Filth, Behemoth and Jeff Loomis. Inner Sanctum has also performed in Europe and appeared in popular metal festivals such as the Inferno Metal Festival, Norway and Metalfest Poland. Aside from the tireless live performances, Inner Sanctum have also released their EP “Provenance” in 2009 and their album “Legions Awake” in 2015. Both the independently released efforts were critically and commercially acclaimed.
Inner Sanctum doesn’t believe in rushing into a release and take their time to ensure that the product meets international standards. For their latest track, “Divided by Hate”, the band has continued its association with award winning producer Lasse Lammert (LSD Studios Germany) who has previously worked with Alestorm, Gloryhammer, Warrel Dane etc. Inner Sanctum decided to shoot a music video for the song as well and tied up with a video production team for it. More on that later, let’s get into the music first.
We started this review by stating that Inner Sanctum is a death/thrash metal band. However, for “Divided by Hate”, Death ‘n’ roll would be a more apt description. Inner Sanctum have combined death metal with rock n roll elements (something like Entombed’s “Wolverine Blues” minus the Boss HM-2 pedal) but that doesn’t mean that the track is soft or light. It’s a hard-hitting knuckle bruiser through and through. Where Inner Sanctum have dialed back on speed, they have more than made up with ferociousness and brutality. The slow pace makes certain parts of the tracks stand out like chugging stompers. Good luck trying to listen to it while stationary.
The low-tuned, distorted guitar rhythms and small but haunting melody give “Divided by Hate” a really heavy and groovy sound. The bass complements the guitars by adding a pulverizing depth to the sound. The drums are grounded but hard hitting, with sledgehammer like thuds punctuating every piece of the infernal vocal delivery. It’s dirty, angry and impactful, exactly how a song called “Divided by Hate” should sound. Lyrically, “Divided by Hate” expresses the boiling wrath of the faction of society that believes its country has been stripped of its values, its inclusiveness, and its culture of embracing diversity. Whether you feel that way about that subject matter or not, it’s up to you. However, the staggeringly high quality of this track is not debatable. The incredible production quality on “Divided by Hate” is the perfect blood soaked cherry on the sundae.
The music video is an incredibly ambitious project which has been executed to perfection. The visual elements are slightly reminiscent of the music video of Behemoth’s “Bartzabel” (and that’s a good thing). It features nice cinematography and some pretty good acting by the characters on screen. “Divided by Hate” is one of the best songs in Indian metal history and its video is definitely the best ever music video for an Indian metal song.
“Divided by Hate” will make you bang your head, stomp your foot, throw furniture around…..the whole nine yards. Just make sure you see a physiotherapist after listening to it, your neck will thank you for it.