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Infest - Moshroom - 75%

Phuling, February 2nd, 2010

No, this is not a reunion of that classic American hardcore act Infest, which is the formation I affiliate the name with, but a French grindcore band I previously hadn’t heard of before they released this. But "Moshroom" is apparently their second album, and the first one on Metal Age. Before receiving the promo I had heard bits and pieces of it, maybe even the whole thing, but I can’t say it had made a super humongous impact on me. However having a copy of the real thing makes for a much greater impression than just sample sounds, so I still had hopes for it.

The album title is extremely fitting for such a sound. The short and energetic outbursts definitely feels like something crafted in order to create massively violent moshpits, and I can imagine hearing/seeing it all live it’d be difficult not to get drawn into a bit of thrashing. If you imagine the later works of Leng Tch’e, which’s got an almost metalcore edge (but not sucky as metalcore) in combination with the metallic and unrelenting hammering of Rotten Sound, now throw in some old Boycot for an ample dose of frenetic hardcore and you’ve got yourself an end product similar to that of Infest. I’d definitely categorize it as modern grindcore, and I suppose one could compare it to tons of various acts, but the three previously mentioned ones were what came to mind. When they blast (as they most certainly do) it’s quite adrenaline-inducing, but the riffing can reek of hardcore, just listen to the opening to "Could anybody answer?". And in "Shoot the pope" there’s even a crusty rock n roll vibe to it.

The main vocals are a brand of high-pitch screams, reminding me a lot of the 90ies powerviolence scene (just as some bits and pieces of the music does), and it certainly makes the lads differ from the grindcore mould. The particular vocal style brings with it loads of energy, but unfortunately I think some people will feel the need for more growling action. The occasional low-end squeals and growls isn’t enough to bring the same kind of brutality to the table that we’re used to hearing, but on the other hand it could attract more hardcore fans to their style. I like it, anyway. The riffing is quite slick at times, they’ve actually got some melody to be diverged, and not just a distorted noise of simplistic guitar tinkering as some grind acts do. With the clean production one can actually also very clearly hear what’s going on in the instrumental department. It’s a very well executed album, and with the combination of catchy riffing, mosh-friendly tempo changes, frenzied hardcore edge it’s cause for a trip that’s quite unlike what you’re used to hearing from grindcore. Imagine Boycot on fast-forward. I just don’t understand why they have an eight page booklet but no lyrics…

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