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Ten of the best metal albums of all time - Part 9 - 100%

droneriot, November 6th, 2016

After a ridiculously long period of time I have finally decided to finish up my series of ten of the best metal albums of all time, and after some careful thinking on the subject I decided to conclude the series with two albums that made the way into the exalted pantheon of my all-time favourites at the most glacial pace.

The first and only Infester album, To the Depths, in Degredation, is a showcase example. It's an album that I simply could not get into for years and years since I've known it. What is intriguing right from the start is that I nonetheless continued trying over and over again, like the album exerted a kind of magnetic pull that I could not resist. I listened, every now and then, perhaps every couple of months, but the music basically went in one ear and out the other leaving me pretty much untouched, while at the same time possessing a subliminal quality that warranted these frequent revisits. There was just "something cool" about the music, something below the surface that continued to intrigue me and fostered the determination that I must give the album however many listens it takes to "click" with me, because something about the album felt like it deserved that determination to make it work, and that the reward will be worth all the time invested. On a less grand scale, it is not too uncommon in death metal, or metal in general. A lot of albums do not work the first time you listen to them, but you pretty quickly get an idea of whether they are worth more than two or three revisits or not. Albums like Gorguts' Considered Dead are a good example of records that one knows they'll never be any less boring after any number of listens because they're simply not good albums. Infester's debut is the opposite, and to the extreme. And it is a testament to the subconscious seed it plants in one's brain that it gets the numbers of relistens it requires to fully unfold its sublime glory.

The reward is indeed worth all the time invested. To the Depths, in Degradation is no less than one of the crowning achievements in death metal history. I recall a friend giving the album a puzzled look and a question along the lines of "what the hell, is that atmospheric brutal death metal?" when hearing it early in my quest to unlock its secrets, and I can understand such confusion or shrugging it all off when unfamiliar with what is curiously but meticulously concocted in the space of these 54 minutes. The whole thing doesn't really make a lot of sense when you start out trying to get into it. The riffing is pretty firmly rooted in that transition period or grey area between old school death metal and brutal death metal that you'd find albums like Onward to Golgotha or Dawn of Possession (or the previously reviewed Ritual of Infinity!!), but without a clear intent to "brutalise you", in lack of a better terminology. The audial violence inherent to that style is significantly subdued here, in other words. What creeps in its place I can only liken - in the mental picture it paints - to a morbid alchemist foraging through an assortment of obscure and unwholesome ingredients to create an ultimate potion of pure evil, all the while cursing and speaking unholy verses to instill his creation with the dark energy it is to possess. In more worldly terms, death metal is stripped of its human form here. You won't be caught in a mosh by these tunes, shredding the air guitar or anything. It's not a kind of obscure dissonant for the sake of being dissonant avant-garde like you hear a lot these days, it's simply hideously ugly in sound and tone. And hellishly dark to an oppressive degree. Where normally death metal riffs pump you up with their primal energy, Infester's are an all-engulfing maelstrom of obscure malevolence. And it's crazy how underrated within the metal community Jason Oliver's vocals are in particular, as they add a level of insanity that fully elevates the already intimidating experience to a black celebration of the apocalypse. Sparse keyboards do their part as well, and I won't insult your intelligence by telling you they don't sound like Emperor or Nile, you already get the idea that they won't sound like popcorn cinema soundtracks. It's a brutal experience, but for only a little part for the elements it borrows from brutal death metal, and for a much larger part for the oppressive atmosphere.

Now all this of course I knew relatively early on in my journey to try to make this album "click" with me, the devestating mood of the music reveals itself more or less readily - though still takes time and effort to comprehend fully. What makes an album truly good however, is the addictive property in its songwriting and craft of melody it must develop for repeated revisits. An Abruptum album can create just as haunting an atmosphere (well, sort of), but how many people are in any way likely to come home from work every day and blast some Abruptum to settle down and enjoy their time off? This is the part that took me the longest to fully get into, because with all their bleak ugliness, the album's riffs and songs surely are not easy to derive the same energising experience from that you'd so easily get from any Bolt Thrower album. And that, finally, is the full extent of this album's genius: Because while you have one of the most brutal atmospheres on any metal albums to begin with, once you work your way through the riffs' repulsive ugliness and decipher their intricate patterns, you discover that you have some of the most hard-hitting and lethal riffs in all of death metal as well - making this album the two-fold tour de force it is. Once fully grasped, the reward for your efforts is one of the darkest, most brutal metal albums of all time with some of the best riffs and song arrangements you'll be able to find in death metal's illustrious history. So if you come across this album but can't get into it, but feel the same level of intrigue I felt in my early attempts to grasp what is going on here, stick with it and don't abandon the quest until the work is accomplished, because once the full power of To the Depths, in Degradation reveals itself to you, you'll understand how it easily plays in the same league as the genre's most revered classics.

Everyone else is right, but everyone else is wrong - 96%

lord_ghengis, February 2nd, 2014

It's a strange experience when you completely agree with the general consensus of the quality of a piece of art, but disagree entirely on the reasoning so you can never comply fully with all the people you're siding with. It's like anyone who thought Fight Club was great, but found the anarchist messages and philosophies retarded and only liked it for the entertaining black humour and snappy dialogue, or for a far less even remotely plausible example, someone who liked Terminator 2 heaps, not because of the cool liquid terminator or cutting edge effects, but because they thought Edward Furlong was the coolest kid ever. I get this with Into the Depths, With Degradation. I completely agree that this is one of the finest death metal albums ever created and it's something which deserves all the praise in the world from absolutely anybody, but this really feels like I'm listening to an entirely different album which is coincidentally freaking awesome too. Infester's only full length effort is widely regarded as one of, if not the most dark, horrific and evil albums ever made and I can't for the life of me figure out why.

Don't get me wrong, the album doubtlessly kills (the Bliss), but I dunno, this has always felt way too brutal, violent and generally lacking in subtlety to feel overly atmospheric and moving to me. I mean it's moodier than Suffocation or Carbonized, but it's not as outright miserable and decrepit as an Incantation, Sororicide or Rippikoulu to my ears, the band just has way too much vulgar extremity to strike me as all that dark. I dunno, I'd put it on par with Molested or Demigod or something that range when it comes to straight up atmospheric qualities; it's certainly dark, but simply being dark isn't really the big appeal. This album is a bold, intense riff monster with brutality to spare, which excels not only for its thick enthralling sound and exceptional riffcraft but also for the way it manages to forge intensity, energy and momentum as well as any band in the genre ever has. This album should be known as one of the most propulsive and attention grabbing ever made, not one which simply gives kids the heebie jeebies.

This is a long album, peaking beyond the fifty minute mark, so I'm glad to be able to say the band has a good grasp on a multitude of riffing styles. Songs seamlessly shift between doomish tone worship, lumbering grooves, devilish tremolos, surprisingly technical fretboard adventures, rather brutal crunchy slogs and eerie atonal melodies, and the band is consistently good at making every style sound absolutely massive. Every song has a unique identity through either structuring or unique little touches on the edges, despite the commonly used techniques throughout. For instance "Chamber of Reunion" stands out for two glorious lead melodies, one atonal and one more graceful, both of which are unlike anything else on the record, while "Braded into Palsy" is more notable for consisting of one of the album's most relentlessly brutal fast passages followed by a long doomish build and release few others could emulate. Every song has at least one way it can be easily be identified, whether it's "This song is the one with the weird keyboard notes ringing out during the slow break" or "This is the song which has the most technical riffs in it"; it's nice to see an album this long and this universally brutal be so consistently fresh.

The songs are predominantly in a pretty slow tempo, as the most commonly used techniques are the brutal grooves and evil tremolo riffs, but bursts of outright speed are quite commonplace both as hectic tremolos and brutal staccato palm muted riffs. This is where the album really wins for me actually, even more than the excellent riffs themselves; I can only think of a handful of albums that are this explosive when they mix up the pacing. This is through a combination of factors, ranging from guitar tone, sporadic vocal variations, drum sound and genius drumming composition. The immense guitar tone is utterly devastating in it's density and weight when played slowly, but gains a sharp edge to it when the tempo picks up, drawing your attention to the actual rate of notes being played and adding some actual high end to the mix, while still keeping that dark and vile low end in tact. As it stands, every time they change up these riffing styles the production makes damned well you're aware of it. Once you add in the multitude of little bass runs and post-production keyboards and effects the three piece has a sizable number of ways of making sure you stand up and take notice when they mix things up, even before the whole band is taken into account.

Jason Oliver's vocals are one of the most talked about elements of the band, often one of the big features when people talk up how disturbing and vile this album is, and they're certainly worthy of some attention. As my earlier statements would imply, I don't find them overly horrific or even all that dark, but they are very, very good. 90% of the delivery here is an exceptionally deep, thumping grunt, I guess it'd be like Lord Worm's barking style being sung by someone with the pitch of Craig Pillard. It's fucking monstrous in its ferocity, but lacks the manic craziness of Worm or the demonic structuring or rumbling of a Pillard so it doesn't carry much atmospheric weight for me, only brutality. It's actually quite like if you took Craig's various "Graaaawwwwwwwwwwwrrrrrrgggghhhh's" and "Bwwaaarrrrrgghhhhhhoorrr's" and just cut them down to the "rgh" in the middle really; it's like a regular roar if you cut the start and end off it. It's heavy, it works crazy well with all the thuggish stomps around here, but it's not evil... the other 10% however is flat out possessed. When Oliver decides to change from the formula he goes fucking hard. The massive ear bursting higher screeches, gurgling inhuman death chokes, and completely pissed off screams launching out of your speakers are completely shocking at the best of times, but when placed alongside a sudden musical shift after 4 minutes of terse, blunt grunts it's downright alarming. These crazier moments I would agree are horrific as hell, as seen in the outro, but they're reasonably sparse to keep the general mood more ferocious as a whole.

The drumming is really the biggest factor as to why this is as exciting and lively as it is. Firstly, the sound of Dario's snare drum is easily the dominant sound of the mix, if only because it's the only higher frequency which routinely bursts through the dense wall of lowness, but it's not irritating at all. Not just because a little bit of high end is quite welcome on something this lengthy and dark, but because holy fuck the guy can play. Obviously with a loud snare, he's got an added advantage that when ever he moves into blast mode it's going to sit you on your arse pretty hard, but he's mercifully mindful of how often he abuses that idea. Instead he loads the album up with kinda jazzy, atypical busy beats, such as the sped up snare hits around 1:30 into "Viscity Slippery Secretion", and numerous agile snare roll based fills. His ability to switch from pounding and heavy to agile and odd to rapid and chaotic is hugely enjoyable and never overdone in any single way, this keeps the frequently shifting riff ideas as lively as they deserve for the full journey. His complexity and inventiveness does cancel out a fair amount of the lurching morbidity that could have been found in a lot of the more simplistic passages, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

I'm not sure how I've managed to interpret "dark, evil horror" as riffy propulsive brutality, but that's how I see this. It's got moody moments for sure, but I listen to this for the riffs and momentum rather than anything abstract. I will however agree 100% that To the Depths, in Degradation is a death metal classic that deserves all the praise that can be heaped upon it, admittedly, I'd heap different praise than most apparently, but I suppose that makes it even easier to recommend; even if you don't find the diversity and driving energy as utterly captivating as me, chances are it'll find a way to give you really good nightmares... but you'd be wrong.

Probably The Scariest Album Ever Made - 98%

CletusChrist94, January 2nd, 2014

I remember the first time I listened to this album. I was glad that it was mid-day and that the room I was in was well lit, because if I had decided to listen to this album at night, in total darkness I probably would've shat my pants in fear. I mean Jesus Christ this album is terrifying, but it's also one of the best death metal albums ever recorded. It's a sound that has never quite been replicated and it's a shame that they disbanded after this one full length album, because I am and always will be curious to hear what else could've been conjured up by these guys.

The album itself has a weird sound and production job that adds to the horror. The vocals are absolutely inhuman, and I am not just saying that because they are growled vocals, I mean these vocals actually sound like they were sang by a demon in the pits of hell with unintelligible growls, and shrieks. The playing on the album is also pretty damn good. The guitars, bass, and drums all flow very nicely together with hellish riffs, and crazy blast beats, and you may even be surprised to hear that this band was a trio. But with such a sound you would've thought that there were at least ten guys playing, so in a way they could be viewed as the Rush of Death Metal, because some of the music has some progressive tinges thrown in.

The tracks "Chamber of Reunion" and "Exoriation Kills The Bliss" start with these really weird samples that really make the mood extremely unsettling. If I were to pick songs that really stood out above the rest I really couldn't, because all of the songs flow together so well that it creates a truly unique and almost perfect album.

So closing this review I will say that again this is probably an album that will scare the living shit out of you. So if you want a good scare, but also want to hear some kick-ass death metal music, pop this album in and listen to it from start to finish. I guarantee you that it will scare you more than most of the shitty horror movies that come out nowadays.

Infatuation With the Disturbed - 93%

Nightmare_Reality, April 8th, 2012

The American scene of OSDM had a vast range of underground bands that played digusting, abominable death metal. Especially the New York scene specialised in making ultimately filthy death metal. Some bands, which I come across only at seldom, sink even lower than these bands in order to create the ultimate filthy death metal sound. Very few bands have really perfected this style, but when the sadisctic and tormenting sound is exposed, the listener will be utterly devastated by the tremendously dark and evil vibe. Infester, by far, has to be one of the prime death metal bands in this compressed sub-genre of death metal. Their sound is filthy and incredibly distorted, but it is also crushingly heavy and doomy.

"To The Dephts...In Degradation" in an incredible effort, displaying ghastly and heavyweight riffs aswel a blackened atmosphere. The album title describes the music perfectly, and the grotesque and macabre imagery shown in the cover art is mosntrously sadistic. The music is so dense and corrupted that people who enjoy Lovecraft but dislike metal in general could easily attain what they would want from this. The first vibe that one may get from the album is probably a rather straightforward but murky death metal vibe, though little do they know that the album explores through much dense and ghastly elements throughout its fifty minute journey. In such a chaotic record, it would be obviously hard to notice clear influences an styles present in the riffs at first, but one can get used to the record in time. The general aspects of the riffs are indulging death/thrash assaults and rich tremolo bursts with a ton of black metal influence going on. Believe it or not, anyone into Blasphemy, Bestial Warlust or Archgoat can be quite content with what they will hear on this album. The death metal riffs have been manupulated continously and the resultant is a repulsively hideous tone and inundating riffs, perpetually striking the listener, thus taking him/her into a journey full of torture and beyond comprehension.

Of course one should also notice the amazing musicianship displayed in the riffs, buried deep within an concrete substance of horror. The riffs are actually quite technical and are perfectly arranged and composed. The technicalty is quite obviously nothing like the furiously instrument-bashing, note-smashing tech death retards that play today. These are quality riffs, composed with great care and yet still being able to be oppressive and dark like the rest of the album. And despite being so pondorously drowsy sounding, the guitars and drums synchronize perfectly, putting a lot of effort into the quality and sordidness of the riffs, aswel as their level in dynamics. The keyboards are used perfectly on this album. Never have I seen a band that created such a dark atmosphere and accompanying it with horrendous keyboards for additional aura and aspect. Speaking of aspects, there are great highlights on this album that are just as crucial as the riffs and atmosphere. The vocals, which channel frequently between lower gutturals and hellish screams and barks, not dissimilar to Glen Benton's vocal work. Intense drumming which sounds rather weak but at the same time showing technique and precise percussion and most importantly being able to determine the speed of the album almost directly.

The album is no less a classic than ''Fallen Angel of Doom'' or ''Onward To Golgotha'' in its ways of monstrous filthiness and tiring and oppressive. It immerses the listener in an incredibly dense and chaotic atmosphere and thus sadisticly torturing him/her. "To The Depths...In Degradation" is the perfect musical equivalent of one of Lovercrafts blood-curdling and spine chilling tales. Not only is this an OSDM classic, but it is also the ghastliest reflection of a human being's nightmare, represented in the most grotesque and agonizing way possible.

''A Higher Art Of Immutable Beauty''
''To The Depths(In Degradation)''
''Chamber Of Reunion''
''Epicurian Entrails''

Originally written for Nightmare Reailty Webzine.

An experience beyond comprehension - 92%

mentalendoscopy, August 17th, 2010

"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far." - H.P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu" (1928)

Let me be perfectly clear, few groups in the underground death metal scene would sink so low as to release an album like the one I am currently reviewing, entitled "To the Depths, In Degradation", by the national socialist musical act Infester (1996). Infester's material is dripping in bile and vomit, their members swimming in an ocean of gore located in some distant void far from human comprehension, experiencing some otherworldly form of cognitive dissonance, filled with anger, despair, terror, and joy all at the same time. Although often labeled as a "death metal" band, there are instances of grindcore, doom metal, and (most prominantly) black metal sprinkled throughout as well. Unlike the gore-based lyrical content of many death metal bands, Infester focus on sadism, the occult, pro-racism, and sex, as well as suprisingly gorey demonstrations in what appears to be (although I may be wrong) the band's Nazi agenda.

Death metal bands typically allow the guitars, bass, and drums to speak for themselves as opposed to allowing the listener to decipher them in his/her own way. As well, atmosphere is not often placed in the foreground in death metal. However, Infester are on a totally new level, giving off the feeling of wading through pools of blood and organs in a dark cave, as zombies arise around you (as the album art perfectly depicts). Tracks such as "A Viscidy Slippery Secretion" feature sections which exemplify this with usage of keyboards and doom inspired riffs, often creating a truly disturbing and unsettling atmosphere for the listener, while tracks such as "Clouding of Consciousness" or "Mephetic Echumation" features a faster paced, almost traditional death metal attack, although with the gorey, unearthly evil still intact underneath, awaiting to pounce. Disembodied shreiks ("A Higher Art of Immutable Beauty"), gut-wrenchingly guttural grunts ("Excoriation killz the Bliss"), inhuman gurgles ("Mephetic Echumation"), and otherworldy demonic choirs ("A Viscidy Slippery Secretion") emerge from the background of gore as the towering riffs stare down upon you, devoid of soul and depraved. The riff work is often played at a slower pace, although certain points (1:21 of "Braded into Palsy", for example) deviate from this.

The keyboard work is the most striking feature here, though (underneath the rather insane vocals, no less). Tracks such as "A Viscidy Slippery Secretion", "Braded into Palsy" and "Chamber of Reunion" make extensive use of the keyboards for example, although the death metal exterior is still retained with suprising ease in these parts. Like a depraved bone organ inside a chapel filled with dismembered corpses, the keyboard work adds so much more to the band's sound than other "creepy" death metal bands have acheived in the past (or future, considering the date of this album's release). The vocal work adds alot more though (namely in "A Higher Art of Immutable Beauty"), sounding similar to a demonic entity fronting a death metal band. The style ranges from extremly deep death grunts to extremly high pitched shreiks, similar to the style used in black metal (creepier, though). They annihilate the senses with their purely disturbing omni-presense over the already evil music. The production on this album is perfect, with the vocals often breaking through the production to suprise you ("Chamber of Reunion" being a perfect example of this). The guitar tone especially is staticy as can be, with little in the way of "tone" and more in the way of incomprehensible noise, although that is not a bad thing here. The bass is charred beyond recognition, similar to Mortician's bass tone, although the tone here is quieter and doesn't overtake the sound as it does in many of Mortician's songs. The bass itself is not quite as audible as I would have hoped, although such a distorted bass tone would do little but destroy the essense of all the other instruments as well, so such a move production wise makes sense.

This album is a classic, a must have for any fan of death metal or black metal. It is disgusting, evil, and purely awesome in almost all accounts in the end. It's the embodied opposite of all things "-core" (except for grindcore in certain sections) or trendy in metal, drawing only the true fans, who really care about the music (as opposed to the dance moves said music allows the listener to embaress themselves with). There are no breakdowns, no tech noodling, no pig squeals, just pure, unadulterated, evil.

Highlight track(s):
"Braded into Palsy"
"Excoriation killz the Bliss"
"Chamber of Reunion"

To the Depths... in Degradation - 95%

Immune_to_Poison, June 27th, 2010

It's difficult to find that perfect balance between atmosphere, brutality and musicianship. In most cases, parts of each spectrum tend to outweigh its own constituents. Why is this? In my experience, it is likely that the sheer challenge of reaching the aforementioned balance deters the artist from putting forth the necessary effort. Apparently, Infester was willing to put themselves through musical Hell for the sake of their listeners. In a sense, it allows us to see what they've seen, hear what they've heard, feel what they've felt... in Hell. To put it bluntly, To the Depths... in Degradation is the most evil sounding record I have ever heard. This is a most pungent atmosphere that is an unfortunate rarity in most (almost all) death metal.

To the Depths may very well have, with regards to my standards, the most perfect vocal performance I've ever had the pleasure of hearing in death metal. If an undead zombie clawed its way out of its grave, Jason Oliver's vocals are just about how I would expect it to sound. When he uses deep gutturals, they don't even seem human: "It" can't form words quite yet, but it can force frightening growls from its dirt filled lungs though its rotted trachea, and thus expelling them from its putrid buccal cavity. When a singer is more fittingly described as "it" rather than "him", you know you're in for some horrifying vocals. Not only can Oliver perform some of the sickest, deepest gutturals I've ever heard, his sparsely used shrieks sound as if they're used to express a combination of physical and emotional pain that words alone cannot. Hence, in addition to outright brutality, there exists an element of chilling sorrow as well.

The songwriting is simply astounding. There's nothing overly technical, but so many morbidly catchy riffs are thrown around in each trach that it doesn't matter. No riffs are wasted, either. The album's second track, "Chamber of Reunion", may be the best example of this. Over the span of 6 minutes and 41 seconds, the song goes from sounding like black metal to death metal to something from a Castlevania soundtrack, all while remaining coherent and brutal. Indubitably, the best parts of these songs are their breakdowns, where everything slows down and goes for the jugular. "Braded into Palsy" has, to my knowledge, one of the most suspenseful breaks in all of death metal. The lugubrious chugging, coupled with a series of subterranean growls, gives the arrangement a very legitimate "what lurks around the corner" feel. It's a beautiful thing.

Elsewhere, musicality remains tight. The bass playing is completely audible and augments the music considerably. Sometimes, bass lines come without the aid of guitar, setting up a new passage or serving as a segue to a guitar break. I feel that the bass is as important a part as any in the overall feel of this album. Dynamics and tempo changes galore, the drummer guides Infester though many a metal subgenre. His playing generally dictates where the music goes. Blast beats are used for death metal parts, while slow rhythms and subtle double bass fills accentuate the doom metal sections. The drumming certainly isn't a display of virtuosity by any means on the album, but it is the backbone of it, nonetheless. Keyboards are also used in some areas. However, it isn't employed as a desperate attempt to sound "epic". Quite the opposite, it drips with evil and helps make an already dark passage sound that much more daunting. In actuality, it's more used for ambience than melody. The most melody you'll hear from the keys is in the spooky introduction to "Braded into Palsy".

Lyrically, the subject matter is fairly typical of the gore genre with some (insincere, I believe) attempts at shock value. It's not the lyrics that are exceptional, but how they're presented, including the creative vocal patterns. The production is dirge, dense and heavy. Everything is audible and organic. I especially like the drum tone. The only problem with the production is that it bears a somewhat low volume mastering. Obviously, competence with a standard stereo volume knob does well to remedy this. I suppose the only thing that keeps To the Depths from receiving a perfect score is that Infester seemed to use up all of their great ideas on the record's first six songs or so, and the rest sound like average death metal songs in comparison (except the outro, which is straight up filler). Besides this, trust me, the first three tracks of the album alone is well worth the price of admission.

Overall, To the Depths... in Degradation is easily a classic of raw, evil death metal. In fact, as per my tastes, this is my personal favorite death metal album of all time. Copies are becoming rarer as time passes, so I'd recommend that anyone interested in owning this album in the flesh should acquire it post-haste.

Excellent death metal with lots of atmosphere - 82%

wickedgnar, December 10th, 2005

Infester's only full length release is a very sludgy death metal assault, laden with tremelo picked passages and some unbelievably crushing riffs. "To the Depths in Degradation" takes you just where the title implies, providing you with a fifty minute stay in a land of brutality. The album grinds along at a modest pace for the majority of the time, although it does accelerate when it needs to, and even slows to a doom metal crawl at certain points. The songs generally all stick to the same basic themes and tend to sound similar, but that doesn't make it boring. That said, there are quite a few riffs on this album. The band manages to switch things up frequently, making sure nothing sticks around long enough to go stale.

As mentioned, the guitars don't ever stray too far away from tremelo picking based riffs, but they are usually very catchy and memorable. The bass is pretty audible, which is nice, but for the most part, it just follows the guitars around anyways. The drums are definitely one of the major highlights of the album - always complimenting the riffs, knowing when and when not to play blasts, and most importantly, playing some really interesting rhythms during the slower sections. The vocals are good - low grunts and snarls that are nearly impossible to understand. Occasionally the vocalist does some higher pitched screams, which are nice for variety's sake.

The only track that deserves to be thrown away is the very last one, simply titled "Outro", which is basically just two and a half minutes of growling. I usually just stop the album after track number nine, when the music is over. Otherwise, "To the Depths in Degradation" is very solid, and extremely worthy of being called a death metal classic. It is unique, brutal, and catchy, and has a great sense of atmosphere that you don't get to see all that often.

Truly horrifying - 95%

ArtOfWar, May 13th, 2004

Having been one that has heard literally hundreds of Thrash/Death/Black/Grind bands, it's hard to find any that truly scare me with their musical presence. Only 4 bands to date have done this so far in my case, those being Blasphemy, Profanatica, Sadistik Exekution and Infester. This album is just flat out scary! Mixing elements of Death, Grind and Doom, Infester creates what should have been the true "Seattle sound" of the early 90's. Since this band had ties to the NS Black Metal communtiy, and due to the fact that they prominently featured a swastika inside the album's booklet, many overlooked this release. Too bad for them, as this is some heavy as hell music. The 10 tracks on this album are like the soundtrack to a nightmare from which you have no hope of waking. Sluggish rhythms give way to nail pounding blast beats, and the horrifying vocals of Jason Oliver. This dude sounds like he was buried 10 feet deep with a microphone in his hand, and a throat full of warm blood. The signature track on this album, "Braded Into Palsy," will scare you unlike anything. If you doubt that claim, listen to the passage that begins at the 3:45 mark of this song. As the band slows down and builds up again, Oliver lets out a grunt and scream so terryfing, you will be looking over your shoulder in fear. It's a shame that this was the band's only full-length release, because I would have loved to have heard more from them.

Both Moribund and Century Media Distribution still carry this title, so if you can, pick up a copy and prepare yourself for an onslaught like no other.