Monday, December 17, 2012

Infidel - Eviscerate Yourself E.P. (2012)

And Poland cranks out another extreme metal super-soldier. I honestly wouldn‘t be surprised to learn that their government is conducting some kind of elicit research, breeding a legion of heavy metal commandos that cannot falter, such is the degree of awesome they’re pumping out, seemingly on the daily. While Infidel doesn’t come across as the most unique or memorable of these metallic death squads, they nevertheless provide a satisfying fit of hellish black metal that harnesses aesthetics from the past and present staples of the genre, as well as some mild infusions of death metal to complete the package. Eviscerate Yourself is the group’s first EP after their debut full-length, and at nearly 26 minutes of thick, soupy anger, there’s a good amount of material here.

Most of the music here on Eviscerate Yourself is highly redolent of Marduk, but with vocals that often glide into more LG Petrov territory, gruff and drawling, but shifting into more conventional mid-toned inflections when the need arises. It works very well with the inferno of notation, which is mainly comprised of open chord tremolos that lend the sensation of evolving fields of lava, very in line with a lot of modern black metal. However, the odd sequence seems more intent on fondling black metal past, and certain riffs attempt to convey some stark minimalism. These balance the album, keeping it from being a non-stop blast beat skullfuck, and are appreciable. Nothing in this short record is really going to surprise you if you’re familiar with the genre, but at no point do Infidel ever really falter, as the overall sensation conjured is quite hellish, and varies just enough to maintain the attention throughout. However, I’d draw the line between my being ‘attentive’ and ‘engaged’, as the latter was not a completely prevalent sensation. Sure, it grabbed me at various points throughout, but it wasn’t constant. Some of the riffs here are gorgeous, but many of them tend to feel incredibly similar, and at length, I can’t say very many of them stuck with me.

Another mild irritation was the drum sound, particularly the snare, which just did not feel fitting. Its hollow hammering was distracting for me, and even though I got used to it, it still felt out of place with the rest of the tones, which are admittedly excellent. The guitars in particular are wispy and searing, practically emanating intense, diabolical heat, which fit incredibly well with the Satanic lyrics and overall motif of invasive diabolical storming, all of which helped draw me in to this world. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t an album that will work if you listen to it casually, for better or worse. My experiences with it while driving, and then while sitting down, reading the lyrics, and clearing my mind were almost completely different, and became the difference in this EP morphing from mildly curious but forgettable to a solid, if somewhat flawed experience that I would recommend to stalwart modern black metal mavens, as it’s quite probable that they will glean more than I.

So, I like the motif here in Eviscerate Yourself, dark and evil and fiery, and it has a number of solid riffs that will help it endear itself to the listener, as well as decent lyrics and percussive death/black vocals. Nothing here is really unique at all, given, but it works, and often pretty well. If you’re into this type of well-produced, fiery damnation, and enjoy Marduk, Ragnarok or God Seed, or other strong Polish underground bands like Hell United, Stillborn, or Pandemonium, you’d do well to give Infidel a chance to work their damning magic. I won’t claim it’s the most exciting or memorable black metal release of the year, but it has enough going for it to warrant the attention of some of you, and I’d be interested to see what they can do next. It would be easy to damn Infidel with dismissals based on familiarity and repetition, but that would be doing an injustice to the obvious care and malevolence that went into this performance, and if you just put a bit of effort into absorbing their world, you won’t go unrewarded.

7 / 10 - Familiar Fiery Fun