Inter Arma will perform Sulphur English at Roadburn 2020 as part of Emma Ruth Rundle’s The Gilded Cage

If ever there was a band that we have been proud to take a journey alongside, it’s gotta be Inter Arma. Back in 2014, they played the (then smaller) Green Room, turning it into a heaving mass of sweaty bodies. In 2017, they returned to deliver an unholy show at Het Patronaat, and now we are reaching something of a crescendo as we are incredibly excited to announce their debut on the Roadburn mainstage, as part of Emma Ruth Rundle’s curation.

The best thing about Inter Arma is that if we put them back into the Green Room, we know they’d deliver an unforgettable set all over again. Hell, they could play your backyard and it wouldn’t be something you (or your neighbours) would ever forget, such is their versatility and confidence. But we know, and we’re pretty sure that you know too – it’s time for these sonic bon viveurs to make the leap.

And what better to acknowledge the might of their latest album, Sulphur English, than to perform it in full whilst they’ve got such a large platform to do it on. Sulphur English was released in April and it is 100% album of the year material. As a festival that revels in pushing the boundaries of heaviness, we recognise kindred spirits in Inter Arma – the complexities and multifaceted layers of their output make for truly a captivating and thrilling ride.

We have praised them highly with every visit they make to a Roadburn stage, and this time is no different; Inter Arma have captured our imaginations in a way that few truly heavy bands have done in many years. Shapeshifting their way through multiple genres on one album – sometimes even on one track – and retaining an authenticity and commitment to their experimentation is no mean feat, and yet they pull it off effortlessly.

On Sulphur English, Inter Arma pay tribute to our mutual friends – Bill Bumgardner of Indian, and Adrian Guerra formerly of Bell Witch, both of whom have died in recent years. Though the loss of these two musicians is not the only shadowy corner of darkness that inspired the album, a sense of loss and sorrow permeates throughout. The denseness of grief and the oppression of suffering is almost tangible at certain points, such as Blood On The Lupines. To see these evocative moments recreated in full on the 013 main stage is going to be a defining high point of Roadburn 2020.

Emma comments: “Sulphur English is, without question, my album of the year. Inter Arma are doing something right now that sets them apart from other artists. There’s a multitude of shifting moods and themes within the weight of their pummeling sound; it’s an album I like to listen to in full from start to finish. It feels like more than a collection of songs so I’m very pleased to say they will be performing it in full on the main stage at Roadburn this year. Really can’t wait for this set.”

The band add: “Somehow, almost unbelievably, we’ve been lucky enough to play Roadburn twice. To be invited back to play it for a third time at the behest of an artist like Emma, who we admire and respect, feels incredibly surreal. We’ll be playing Sulphur English in it’s entirety for the first time and will absolutely try our damnedest not to fuck this one up!”

Inter Arma will perform Sulphur English at Roadburn 2020 as part of Emma Ruth Rundle’s The Gilded Cage.

Becky Laverty / November 2016

Pic: Bibiana Reis

Date: April 17

Time: TBA

Stage: Main Stage