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Review: Infrared - From the Black Swamp
From the Black Swamp

Label: Independent
Year released: 2021
Duration: 1:00:07
Tracks: 12
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: September 24, 2021
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
From the Black Swamp

Rated 4.67/5 (93.33%) (6 Votes)

It's been a little over three years since Infrared graced us with their second album, Saviours, and they had been busy on the live circuit ever since, until, well, you know what. I got this a few weeks ago and this is the only album I've had on my daily playlist ever since I got it. Not only does it have staying power, but I found that it keeps getting better with each listen.

Saviours was kind of heavy/thrash, but From the Black Swamp definitely brings the thrash front and centre and Infrared don't hold back as the guitars slice the air as they come out of your speakers, the drums make the ground shake and singer Armin Kamal delivers a powerful vocal performance from beginning to end, not only making you sing along but also drawing you into focusing on the lyrics. He has a style that's kind of harsh and shouted yet clear, making out the lyrics requires very little effort.

Lots of speed and razor-sharp guitar work is to be found here, with heaviness aplenty but also a whole lot of melody. Don't let "melody" be a turn-off if that usually how you feel about that, as Infrared put power into that word and it also adds a strong element of catchiness to almost all the songs on the album. When they're not full speed ahead, it's either a machine-gunning style or a slower, heavy pounding that you're served with. This is a style of "clean" thrash that is quite reminiscent of some of the American and some of the Canadian scene of the '80s, think Metallica, Razor, Exodus and all those other staples of the scene back then, but on From the Black Swamp Infrared have taken that sound to a new level with a modern sound and more power than you can shake a stick at. Closer "Domina Somum" starts out reminding me of the kind of the more melodic stuff you could hear on on Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, before Kamal kicks in with that amazing scream and things get real, kind of an epic vibe on this one. Awesome closer to a great album. Heavy, powerful sound throughout and so much catchiness, it's crazy. By now I must have listened to maybe 250 new albums this year (I have issues...), and this one is definitely in the top 5. Highly recommended for fans of technically minded thrash that fucking slays.

Other related information on the site
Review: Back to the Warehouse (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: No Peace (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Saviours (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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