|Review: Infernum - Farewell|
Label: No Colours Records
Year released: 2005
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: March 17, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (10 Votes)
The one-off final album return of Capricornus (Thor's Hammer/Graveland etc) and Rob Darken's (Graveland) Infernum after ten years since their debut is a much welcomed one for me personally. I hugely enjoyed the project's raw debut which came out in the midst of the huge boom of black metal in the mid nineties, as it summarized all that was great about true black metal; aggression, hatred and nihilism. Although partially recorded in 1996, the reason for the delay of ten years is an extensive one, although the abridged version is that ex-member Karcharoth (now deceased) became a defector of the 'scene' and turned his back on his National Socialistic ethics. After his suicide, Capricornus and Darken now feel the curse has been lifted on the band for them to be able to conclude the final chapter of it with this album. Anyway, with politics and moral principles aside, the music on display here is grimly played in the style of their debut foray, but without quite touching the outstanding values of it.
Fuzzy, buzzing repetitive guitar lines give the classic Darkthrone-like under produced sound, adding a tremendously dark atmosphere to the proceedings, with the murky keyboards and surprisingly simplistic drum work from Capricornus keeping the gloomy foreboding grayness at its maximum scope. This is as cult and elite as you will find a black metal album nowadays, with its understated approach to the revival of the old Polish style of black metal (think very early Behemoth and Graveland), along with a few nods in the direction of the more epic sounding latter-day Graveland thrown in also. The vocals are hissed forth with bitterness in the characteristic blackened style, adding a real sense of fury and disgust into the songs (something that has been sadly absent from some latter-day black metal).
Throughout, the vibe is in keeping with the archaic, medieval tone while exuding extremist fundamentalism to the nth degree. All musicians have obviously progressed in the song writing stakes since the debut (although to my mind, this doesn't work particularly in their favor for such an album, as it was the feeling of clumsy amiable juvenility which was a large part of the debuts appeal), that said the dynamism and density stakes have been upped vastly here, making it pleasing to the ear in a different way.
All in all, more diverse than the bands debut effort, without being quite as charming as it. With a couple of years of musical progression between albums, and nearly ten years until its official release, I couldn't really ask for much more. Go get it.
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