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This band from Boston is back with their second album after their very well received debut released in 2011 and they don't disappoint. A shame that the band is still unsigned as they're truly excellent, I hope this album will give them the exposure they need and deserve.
Once again showing that the USBM (United States Black Metal) scene is only geographically adequate, Infera Bruo (Esperanto for hellish noise) doesn't sound American at all. Indeed, they're basically a Yankee answer to the progressive black metal sound of mid era Enslaved. Similar to the sound investigated by the Norwegians on an album like “Monumension” or even “Isa” and “Ruun”, The band develops a very enjoyable sound and compared to modern Enslaved, it's still undeniably black metal. Melodic, heavy and dissonant, the music doesn't break boundaries but their songwriting is more than excellent.
An apostle of both Enslaved and Opeth (two of my favorite bands), Infera Bruo is obviously very pleasing to my ears. “Oblivion” reminds me of the seminal” My Arms, Your Hearse” with its dark melodic black metal approach. There's long tracks (2 over 10 minutes) but the band is nowhere near slow, it's aggressive and doesn't let go of your balls (or your throat, choose whatever you're more comfortable with). Some parts are more subdued like the ending of “Ritual Within”, a very emotional epic 13 minutes song similar to the prog sound of “Axioma Ethica Odini” with its lush and subtle approach. The guitars are not quite technical, there's some leads here and there but hardly common. Even in the longer songs, it stays interesting and that's a feat not a lot of bands can achieve.
The guitars are dissonant, recalling the unorthodox scene. The presence of two short interludes can also remind the listener of the occult influence of a band like Deathspell Omega but contrary to the French horde, it's only a small side of the band. It would had been cool to expand on this but it's always a risky endeavor. You can either end up with 15 minutes of clutter or having a marvelous atmospheric ambient album à la Darkspace. I'm relatively happy the band chose to release a 50 minutes album with no fillers, maybe they'll experiment a bit more later? Their sound is far from incomplete though and it has a wide range of musicality and emotions. The drums can be very thunderous and fast, sometimes there's even blastbeats such as in the excellent “Dust of Stars” and the vocals are mostly quite competent harsh screams mixed with some cleans similar to, yeah no surprise here, Enslaved.
The production is superb, nothing is overshadowing anything except perhaps the vocals, they're a bit buried but it fits the occult atmosphere, it's self produced by the band proving they're in full control of their sound. While the album is very good, there's a big flaw I need to mention. The identity of the band is way too similar to Enslaved, I think they need to find a sound of their own to create their mark. For now, it remains an excellent worship of a great band, let the awesome artwork fool you and check them out.
Metantoine's Magickal Realm