Sunday, January 29, 2012

Infinite Redemption - Face of Disaster EP: Review

Modern Metal is always a hit-or-miss affair for most (mostly a miss), and in a country like India, among a vast sea of uninspired, same-sounding bands, it is difficult to find a band that actually stands out as good. Infinite Redemption is among the good bands. Formed in 2003 in Mumbai, Infinite Redemption play a style that takes influences from different genres including Math Metal/Mathcore, early Metalcore, Melodic Death and Thrash Metal and Technical Death Metal, and blend it seamlessly to create a sound that sets them apart from other bands.

Face of Disaster is the debut EP of the band, released in January 2012. The opener, Abhorrence, sets the mood for the EP with a Thrashy guitar riff and aggressive drumming. Catchiness and memorability is maintained throughout the song with tastefully written guitar riffs that switch styles varying from Thrash Metal to Melodic Death and Groove Metal, accompanied by alternating Hardcore Punk screams, screeches and Death growls, all done really well. The opener is followed by the self-titled song, which begins with a nicely written, melodic lead guitar section and a mid-paced rhythm riff. The song has a Metalcore vibe, which may turn off some listeners, but the endless flurry of well-written riffs more than make up for it. The next song, Noise Edge has some textured, progressive and groovy riffs and drumming, making it thoroughly enjoyable for those who dig Progressive stuff, which is followed by one of the older songs written by the band, Shadows of Disaster, which is a straight-forward Melodic Death Metal song, with loads of melodic guitar solos and riffs, which showcases the band's ability to keep things fresh. The final song, Tyranny of the Pallid, takes cues from relatively modern Technical Death Metal, with sometimes complex, yet catchy riffs and tempo and structure changes, and a brief, but really good bass guitar solo. The assault of drums, bass and vocals continues throughout each song, and though they're mostly supporting the endless riffing fury, every element has numerous stand-out moments, and serves equal importance in the music. The drumming is very well done, with adequate amount of groovy moments as well as blast beats, the bass provides heaviness while throwing in an occasional solo, and the vocals add to the overall aggression in the music.

The production job was done by Vishal J. Singh of Amogh Symphony, so professional quality wasn't unexpected. This might turn away people who swear by old school production values and sound, but listeners who can ignore the modern production, as well as listeners who prefer modern production will surely like this, since there is very little to not like here. Being an EP, it also is very short on playing time, clocking at the usual EP length of 21 minutes 24 seconds, and leaves the listener expecting more. Infinite Redemption plant their flag in the Indian Metal scene with their impressive debut, and more material can be expected from them in the coming years.

Face of Disaster can be purchased by contacting the band at

Be sure to check out their Facebook and ReverbNation pages.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Axis of Advance - Strike : Album Review

Axis of Advance were a Black/Death band from Canada. Their playing style is similar to Ross Bay cult bands like Blasphemy, Revenge and Conqueror, mostly owing to the fact that James Read from the latter two bands handles drums. Axis of Advance play in a style similar to, but not exactly like the above mentioned bands.

Strike is the band's first full-length album, released in 2001. The moment the first epic 8 and half minute song hits, you realize that it isn't your typical War Metal affair. Unlike the chaos of Conqueror and Revenge, and directionless and mindless blasting of Bestial Warlust, Axis of Advance has some coherence when in comes to structure and riffing. Bear in mind that this, in no way means that it can be digested by your usual Black or Death Metal fan, since the chaotic quality has only been toned down a little. Imagine a cross between Revenge and Order From Chaos - the noise and violence of the former, coupled with the riffing variety and style of the latter. Like their fellow countrymen, Axis of Advance don't cut down the intensity of their assault.

The riffs vary between grinding, war metal-like and catchy, vicious Black/Death Metal riffs, which keeps the songs interesting and avoids monotony, while maintaining the ferocity of the assault. Contrary to majority of Metal, the riffs take up the role of support fire - the band's main weapon is their artillery in form of drums, and it's command undertaken by the war machine, James Read. Read pounds on the snare like a maniac, but with the timing and precision of a sniper. The drums assault the listener's ears, invoking a sense of suppression that is felt in a battle. Between those assaults, are moments with catchy riffs and less destructive drumming, creating a picture of an advancing army through the battlefield, claiming more of the enemy's territory. The drums and riffs are supported by throaty rasps and growls, that don't possess much power but do their job well. The bass guitar is hidden beneath layers of pounding drums and grinding guitars, but due to the rather straight-forward music, its exact nature of playing isn't missed much, but they do the ever-important job of making the music heavier. Some songs on the album end with samples of gunfire, which seem to fit in seamlessly and don't feel forced or put in for no reason. The weak points in the album include the difficulty in differentiating one song from another, (though the case is not as bad as Bestial Warlust), and the length of three particular songs is over 8 minutes, which is a drag for the style Axis of Advance play.

All in all, Strike is an above average album, recommended for Black and Death Metal fans who can take a vicious, relentless assault for over 40 minutes.