|Review: Infernäl Mäjesty - Unholier than Thou|
|Unholier than Thou|
Label: Hypnotic Records
Year released: 1998
Review online: July 20, 2021
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
for:Unholier than Thou
Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)
Infernäl Mäjesty should be well known to anyone with a love for the old Canadian Thrash scene, as their debut None Shall Defy remains one of its most enduring classics. Unfortunately, a number of circumstances both good and bad led to their sophomore album taking 11 years to get released. At the time, it was considered a massive disappointment, and I'll admit I felt the same back when it came out, but having revisited recently, I can say that it's still a perfectly good album in its own right.
Unholier Than Thou works more in a murky, straightforward Death/Thrash style than the debut while also lacking the dark atmosphere that made None Shall Defy so great. It would be easy to blame this on replacing bassist Steve Russel and drummer Rick Nemes with Chay McMullen and Kevin Harris respectively, but I think it's more a reflection of how much the scene had changed since the debut, with Thrash taking more of a backseat as Death Metal took hold of the underground, so it's not too surprising that the band would want to change their sound to keep up with the times. Regardless of what led to this change, it does make for a more generic and less engaging album than before.
Having said that, the band hadn't completely lost their touch with this release. Whenever they just let go and Thrash, as on "Roman Song" and "Where is Your God", they proved they could still make some killer, Slayer-esque Thrash. They even experimented a bit with the doomy "Black Infernal World" and the excellent album closer "The Art of War", which has a slow and steady build before exploding with rage into the kind of dark, wrathful Thrash that made them legends in the first place. The rest of the songs fail to reach the same kind of highs, but they're all at least decent enough to listen to.
Overall, this is definitely what you could call a sophomore slump, but it's got enough quality material to make it worth a listen. It's not the grand return we all wanted from Infernäl Mäjesty, but if all you're looking for is a solid album with flashes of the band's old brilliance, then this is good enough.
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Interview with guitarist Kenny Hallman on February 26, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist Chris Bailey and guitarist Kenny Hallman on November 21, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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