Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

I'm the Blasphemer; In the name of Satan! - 90%

DrummingEdge133, October 13th, 2009

Pure, blasphemous rage, long sweeping compositions and an atmospheric doom tempo are all ways to describe Infernal by Barathrum. However, this album cannot, of course, be summed up in a single sentence. Most albums can’t, but this one especially. This album is massive, and long, totaling one hour and five minutes to be exact. For a band to create such a long album without it becoming stale, they must have emotion and passion. Barathrum most certainly fit into this category. Infernal is possibly one of the best black metal albums I’ve heard, whilst not actually being pure black metal, as they do possess quite a bit of doom influences. I would say the most evident of this doom influence I speak of would have to be the tempo that is set, which is usually crawling along at slow to mid-pace.

Another fantastic and stunning aspect to Infernal is the exquisite and memorable riffs. Oh, the riffs are something to behold, aggressive, extremely heavy, yet with melody all at the same time. Such a feature seems to be a Finnish gift, as it is apparent in many bands from this wondrous land. Take for instance “The Blasphemer”, such a brutal and heavy riff repeating throughout this song, dirty and gritty, and bass low. It must be noted, however, that I do believe Barathrum play with two basses. Hell, maybe they even play with three, but I doubt it. Regardless, this is a unique aspect that Barathrum utilizes with great skill, which is why their riffs probably appear so heavy and brutal, I’m sure. There is always a deep rumble apparent throughout “The Blasphemer”, as well as many of their other songs. This creates a very thick and muddy sound, full of organic life. Their rhythm section is certainly the dominant force on the album, and often has a bouncy, tangy tone to it. The songs on Infernal are usually also dominated by a particular unique main riff that is played throughout, without a lot of variation. However, it never gets too repetitive because most of the songs (all but two) are of about average length. The last song being nearly 15 of the 65 minutes, and I also found this song to be a little bit of a filler due to its extended length, but really no full-length has to be 65 minutes, so I suppose it is up to the listener. I can say that I have only listened to the last track once in full. Regardless, it is still impressive that Barathrum had enough ideas to pull of a 65 minute album, not something that is regularly achieved with success by many bands, yet they’ve done it multiple times.

The vocals of Infernal are fantastic, often sick and twisted. The main vocal style is done in a medium to high raspy shriek. However, the vocals do have a bit of variety thrown in, as there are some clean vocals for brief periods on several different occasions. There are often multiple vocals going on at once, usually varying rasps at different volumes, to give kind of a hellish atmosphere. The varying vocal styles are obvious on the track “Leaving the World of Mortals”, where there is contrasting between cleaner vocals and a black raspy style. My favorite vocal performance and lyrics though are on the song “The Blasphemer”, due to the memorable refrain and dynamics of his voice and uncomfortably, yet satisfying blasphemous lyrics.

The drumming is executed very well, with great dynamics and intriguing variations in both speed and style. The drumming is often plodding along at a mid-paced tempo, just pummeling the audience with bombastic and heavy bass drum and snare combos. There are very little to no blasting done by the drummer on Infernal. As I’ve said in previous reviews, I care little for blasting, as I find it to be more of a distraction than anything else. However, blasting certainly can be used to put emphasis on a particular part of a song, but if it is generally constant, like what might be found on every Hate Eternal album (at least the Derek Roddy albums), it starts to become too overly commanding, distracting and well just down right annoying. The drumming certainly adds a lot of character to each song on Infernal, however, and isn’t just a backbone to the rhythm. There are many varying beats to be found on Infernal, with unique fills and rolls as well. The drummer also uses a fair amount of double bass patterns, but only during the faster sections on the album.

To conclude, I simply love this album for its gritty, deep rhythmic bass patterns, memorable and catchy riffing, and evil, blasphemous, and aggressive atmosphere. I really only have one complaint about this album, which is the overly long closing track. I don’t think the closing track is bad at all, but certainly not a song that needed to go on for nearly 15 minutes. Regardless, if you are looking for mid-paced black metal with a warmer, deep and thick sound, with doom influences, this album is exactly what you need. Hopefully this album will have a reissue in its future sometime soon. Highly recommended.