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Perfidious - 88%

Felix 1666, January 15th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2002, CD, Hammerheart Records

Many Swedish apostles of hell have been involved in Infernal, but Blackmoon was the managing director until his death in 2013. Unfortunately, Infernal were not able to leave us a large inheritance. But the few songs that they released did not shy away from comparison with the tracks of comparable bands. It is therefore a pity that "Summon Forth the Beast" offers only two previously unreleased electric shocks, while the remaining tracks are cover versions, inter alia Von's "Satanic Devil Pig". I know that this group is very controversial and the here presented track gives an idea why some people hate it. The delicately titled piece embodies pure primitiveness. It shocks with its inexorable straightness without forgetting the absolute minimum of variety. Apart from that, the song surprises with an explosive and efficient chorus. Hellish and embittered at the same time, the track matches the general approach of Infernal excellently.

Infernal's own compositions at the beginning of the album are even better. They shine with a higher portion of creativity, but this is not the crucial thing. Of greater relevance is that they possess this specific kind of precision and coldness which makes meticulously crafted Swedish death / black metal to a very special experience. The atmosphere is comparable with that of the most intensive moments of Necrophobic, while the music is even more thunderous. Blackmoon and his henchmen celebrate the fascinating combination of musicianship and aggression in a highly motivated manner. Both tunes are intelligently structured with the effect that they do not lack of clarity and sharpness. Due to these circumstances, the music reveals its enormous evilness completely. The eye-catching song titles ("Branded by Hellfire" and "Infernal Holocaust") do definitely not promise too much.

The output is completed by cover versions of Morbid Angel (solidly performed) and Bathory. It goes without saying that each and every track of "Under the Sign of the Black Mark" is worth covering. Yet it is also a matter of course that the original versions of these pieces are sacrosanct. "Of Doom" was, is and will be eternally brilliant, no matter who has the idea to record it anew. I guess that even the sweet clowns of Nightwish would not be able to ruin this masterpiece. (Perhaps I better think again. Some dimwits are capable of anything.) Anyway, Infernal play the tune flawlessly, but I cannot detect the signature of Blackmoon. Be that as it may, the five pieces of "Summon Forth the Beast" form a compact unit that can hardly be beaten. Not least because of the professional, transparent and nefarious sound, the album marks a triumph of "satanic" vileness. Dedicate yourself to this black, sinister and merciless demonstration of vileness. Too bad that Blackmoon (R.I.P.) has left us. Suicide is no solution.

Different than their first ep. - 85%

oneyoudontknow, April 11th, 2009

Infernal's first ep had four songs and a total length of around sixteen minutes, their second comes with five tracks and with thirty seconds less. An interesting fact, because on the self-titled ep the band already played fast and aggressive black metal without much filler parts. How did the band evolve then?

Two out of five compositions were written by the band and they offer a different approach in terms of song-writing, compared to their early piece. The large amount of breaks has been reduced, solos have been added, longer riff passages, and the whole release is closer to the early Dark Funeral stuff. Yet, the music is no pure monotonous blasting; Infernal Holocaust offers a really cool melody and riffs for instance. The absence of Matte Modin has not have a graven effect on the outcome of this release. It is not necessary to spend much time on describing the skill of the involved musicians, their background or better said the bands they have been involved in should give a good impression on what to expect.

Bleed For The Devil (Morbid Angel cover)
Infernal have no problem in dealing with the tempo of Bleed for the Devil and do a pretty good job here. Yet, the solos are a little bit too much in the background, due to the dominance of the rhythm-guitars, hence do they no sound so cool like in Morbid Angel's original.

Devil Pig (Von cover)
Well, not very surprisingly is the better sound of the cover version, but Infernal is able to get a good deal of the original atmosphere in their music as well. This one here is pretty close to Von's performance, but comes in a more polished way. Some might be annoyed by the “wall of guitars”, though.

Of Doom (Bathory cover)
Again has the modern production a positive effect on the song and those who favour a clearly and more powerful sound will undoubtedly like this piece. Infernal stayed pretty close to what Bathory did, but are not entirely able to catch everything of the Under a Sign of the Black Mark version. It is interesting, nonetheless.

In short: Infernal attempted to stay very close to the original and the only compromise would be the production.

Final bits and bytes
Those familiar with Infernal's first ep might be surprised by their second one. It is different, especially due to the change of the drummer -- Alzazmon replaced Matte Modin --, but it is again loaded with the same amount of aggressiveness than their self-titled release. From second one the band unleashes a brutal blasting but without compromise and without being plain or boring. This ep is a good example on how fast and aggressive black metal has to sound. Really recommended.