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Tough raw minimal BM rising from the demon deeps - 68%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, March 31st, 2017

Infernal Antarctica: a great name for a band and one to live up to - let's hope Infernal Antarctica can be more active now that they've released their first album after so many years of quiet. The Hungarian duo play raw old-school melodic black metal with loads of energy and aggression. Guitars are really sharp and the drumming makes up in speed and enthusiasm what it lacks in power. The vocals are deeper than what's usual for BM - they sound as though they're coming from a deep humid and stuffy pit and sometimes even go operatic. Funnily the band reminds me of quite a few Finnish raw BM bands - Vitsaus comes to mind - that play straightforward minimal melodic BM and possibly the musicians have taken a leaf out of the Finnish playbook of clear, aggressive and single-minded BM massed guitar attack.

Songs go from one lot of riffs or melodies to the next without repeating or going back over old territory so they tend to sound much the same. At least the band is big on energy and all-out attack and the guys have an ear for speedy grooves and aggressive riffs with lots of blast beats and drum rolls. The main thing is the guys sound like they're enjoying themselves every step of the way even if their listeners get lost as to which song they're up to. Song titles like "The Demonic Terrain" and "Beyond the Nameless Mountains" hint at a liking for Lovecraft-inspired themes of unknown monstrous horrors residing deep beneath the Earth.

Of the six songs on offer, "Beyond the Nameless Mountains" stands out for its extreme raw sound, martial rhythms and melodies, and aggressive vocal roar. There's an interesting and unexpected twist in the song which brings a swaggering rhythm, some guitar doodling and a speech. "Carnivore Feast" is more distinct and consistent than the rest, sticking to one jagged stop-start riff structure all the way through.

If the guys could work on their songwriting skills and maybe not stick so much to a minimal set-up of guitars-n-drums, they could be a mighty meaty fighting force. Their playing is very good and emphasises tough jagged chunks of raw guitar. Vocals are of the declamatory ranting kind, most suited to rousing demon troops to battle, and on some songs the band uses clear-toned vocals. On the whole, from the depths of this side of Antarctica comes a set of demons with ambitions to conquer the planet - but they need a greater set of weapons to match their appetite.