domingo, 25 de mayo de 2014

Review: Infest - The Next Will Be Yours (2013)

In the world of extreme music, one of the most relevant genres in the beginning was Grindcore. With its’ radical fury bursts, along  with Death Metal they took the extreme sound to a new level. Bands like Assück, Napalm Death, Carcass, Old Lady Drivers, Agathocles and many others created fulminant blasts that rarely surpassed a span of one minute. After the fall of the Death/Grind scene in 1995, things looked bad for the genre, a group to reinvent the wheel was needed. And that group was Nasum (amongst others like Misery Index). The Swedish brought fresh air to the genre, combining the ferocity of the filthiest Crust with the energy of Death Metal. That sound revitalized the genre, and along with Pig Destroyer, Phobia and several others, they became “leaders” of the new pack of grinders.

And why do I bring this little snapshot to the topic? Because I’ll talk about Infest, grindcore band native from the Basque Country, which holds Nasum as a primary influence. In their two first works (released in 2007 and 2009 respectively) the most notorious display of their sound can be found.

Starting from that base,  we face their latest release under the title “The Next Will Be Yours”. There’s something interesting here, 4 years passed since the release of “Moshroom” and this album. It is like if took their time to prepare the album, with that thought in mind, I play the album, and the storm doesn’t take long to appear.

We’ve got 21 tracks that give us a round 28 minutes of chaos.  Because if you were expecting a lot of concessions from this band, you’re going to have to rethink your expectations. The aforementioned  Nasum still has presence (the last track on the album is a cover of the Swedish band, seems to be from another recording),  but this time the individualities shine bright like a diamond for a more personal sound. Infest strikes without boundaries against our ears, the riffs are dirty and very raw, which adds an extra touch of ferocity to the music. Except for some samples and cuts for the inclusion of some drum fills, there is no stop here. Few sections in mid tempo,  where we can only highlight the intro of "I Don't Give A Damn" and "Doom Suicide", here the guys let us take a break for almost 4 minutes with lethargic riffs, slow and enigmatic, which amaze the listener after the unstoppable attack from the past 13 tracks. Actually, “Back to Basics” with its’ 36 seconds span takes the crown for the best song on the album, for such power demonstration. And of course, the calm wouldn’t last long. The only thing that the desperate breath of air they offer to us does is intensify the strength of the following tracks, which take a path similar to those from the middle of the album, but  with absolutely enjoyable brief explosions of fury.

One of the biggest highlights in this record is the mix, because it manages to put all instruments under a perfect balance without losing strength. Then we meet those sharp and aggressive riffs, which sound “dirty” but are distinguishable, they never get to create a mass of noise. The drums seem to have been recorded  without the use/abuse of triggers, which helps a lot in providing an organic sound to the album, where the cymbals keep their natural sound without covering or clustering the rest of the band’s work. The bass is listenable and basically plays the same as the guitarist, something that generates an amalgamation that adds strength to the overall sound. The vocal work switch between high pitch screams, occasional choruses and some not  very well done pig squeals.  Like every good grindcore vocalist must do, he rips his throat apart on each track with a strong presence in the mix. For brief moments you get the sensation that this work was recorded live with all the members playing like if it was a rehearsal, which for me is excellent, gives a little bit of extra spice to the album itself.

Definitely, we have here one of the most solid grindcore albums from last year, along with Blockheads, Mumakil and Teething. Infest has matured a lot in this last 4 years, showing not only a high level to present fresh material in such a saturated genre like this, but also showing awareness to present a well produced and perfectly executed work. This guys are serious, and they let us know in this 21 tracks.

Score: 88/100

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