A versatile and mercurial American metal quintet, Virginia's Inter Arma (Latin for "in times of war") continually reference genre styles that include Southern doom, psychedelic sludge, black metal, prog, and 1970s riff-centric heavy metal. Combining unrelenting intensity and haunting beauty, the band emerged in 2006 and issued their debut full-length album, Sundown, four years later. They continued to expand the scope of their sound after inking a deal with Relapse, which has released subsequent aural tomes of pain and beauty like Sky Burial (2013) and Sulphur English (2019).
The band was formed in 2006 with vocalist Mike Paparo, drummer T.J. Childers, guitarists Steven Russell and Trey Dalton, and bassist Joe Kerkes. The singer and guitarists are also members of Bastard Sapling. After rehearsing and playing a few local shows, they issued an untitled live demo in 2007, followed by a studio demo a year later consisting of two tracks that showcased their blackened Southern approach. In January of 2010, their track "The Calm Before the Shit Storm" was released on the A-side of a split 7" EP with Battlestar through Mirror Universe Records. Sundown, their debut full-length, appeared from Forcefield in April. It was well-received in the metal press and provided greater opportunities for Inter Arma to tour nationally. Their intense live performances established their reputation for challenging and forceful music, while their recordings sought to reinterpret their live presence. In 2012, their four-track EP Destroyer brought them to the attention of Relapse Records, which signed them. They continued a relentless touring pace, sharing stages with a host of like-minded bands including Cough, Royal Thunder, Black Tusk, Ulcerate, and Russian Circles. The pre-release digital single "'Sblood" was issued by Relapse in January 2013, followed by the widely acclaimed Sky Burial in March.
A subsequent year-long tour took them to Europe with Windhand. They shared venue and festival stages with Kylesa, Baroness, and Mantar. A 45-minute, one-track single titled "The Cavern" was issued exclusively on vinyl in the fall of 2014. In addition to extended bouts of touring, Inter Arma re-entered the studio the following year with recording, mixing, and mastering engineer and multi-instrumentalist Mikey Allred. The internet teased "Transfiguration as a first single in April 2016, followed by "Paradise Gallows" in May and "Primordial Wound" in June. The nine-cut full-length Paradise Gallows was released in July during a national tour. 2019 saw the release of the band's fourth long player, Sulphur English, which unleashed an atmosphere-heavy amalgam of death, drone, and sludge.