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Summoning gone crazy - 95%

Taliesin, November 21st, 2006

Woods of Infinity, few other bands can get such a differing reaction, some people hate them, others seem to grasp hold of some quality that seems to be highly subjective and often very personal. I find them to be one of the few black metal bands today attempting to differ themselves from the vast majority of black metal bands today, part of how they work though is their grounding in the purity of the style. However, they take the basic components of black metal and drift with their own intensity. Often like a gypsy folk band played in black metal fashion, Woods of Infinity are one of the few bands who manage to craft songs that are based around primarily folk melodies and playing styles, yet keep the bleak and often sickening quality of black metal at its best. Often the only band to compare them to is Summoning, particularly on certain moments where the keyboards come to play, one is reminded of the cyclic folkish riffing and melodies of Summoning, yet there is a dark pure tone here that moves forward always with the intensity of the lyrical themes.

Perversity and anti-humanity is the primary concept behind these lyrics, a sensation of such pure hatred and disgust as to be beyond the capacity of many listeners to understand the intention. As the songs move onwards, they drag you into a dark underworld of human consiousness, basically acting out in musical terms the things that people often leave best unexplored. The id is manifest upon these songs, an id that has taken over a human being, taking them to the darkest reaches of the mind.

The music is played in a folkish fashion, a kind of uncaring towards the traditional elements of metal, i.e. well played guitars, a technicality in the drums, etc. They play with a ruthless and joyless abandon, leaving to the listener to attempt to grasp hold of some fragment that is identifiable.

The production is raw, yet leaves space for overdubbing that often can create a mind numbing level of density, layers of guitars and keyboards often hide various aspects, that are revealed to a listener who is paying attention. The vocals scream their sickening stories of perversity over the music, seemingly uncaring to any concept of their fitting in with the general tone of the music. They are uncommercial as it comes, as the music spirals into an abandon that in the end is lifeless and devoid of true emotion. As if screaming against the currents of society, everything falls into place to create an atmosphere of desolation and despair. Yet there is a malacious aspect that seems to revel in the hatred and disgust, it never falls into any sensation of pity or regret. No matter how inhuman the lyrical themes go, never does one dense a self pitying quality of say suicidal black metal. Instead these songs are depressive through a quality that denies any emotion at all except pure unfiltered disgust.

Woods of Infinity on this album have crafted what I consider a masterpiece. It is beyond many peoples understanding, and is disturbing on a level that is both awe inspiring and horrific. It is hard to find exactly where everything lies upon here on first listen, it requires many listens before the true intent is revealed. I cannot recommend this highly enough to the more open minded black metal listener who is willing to be subjected to evil inhuman intentions and music that denies nearly every normal aspect of what black metal has become. There is no sensation of humor or anything to let the joyless unhumanity go. There is only hatred, disgust and despair of the soul that hates everything that humanity has become.

Woods of Infinity in my mind have done what few can do, they have exposed the true power underlying black metal, in a fashion that few will like or understand. Those few who do will find much to satisfy them and disturb them in this album. If you don't mind being taken to the darkest reaches of the subconscious buy this album. If you are closed minded stay away, for this band and this album challenge everything humans hold dear, like morals, ethics and faith. Fall into the darkness of oblivion and let their songs take hold of your soul.