This Black Metal beast has one arm for thumping and one arm for fencing. It's all too easy to get carried away by the storm surge blowing from INFINITY's bowels, especially when the lightning melodies flicker between the thunderheads, I feel an hour of tab-bashing is imminent.
Once the monks have been dispatched by the pillaging start of “From The Eternal Sea He Rises,” it doesn't take long to realise that this album is going to leave you covered in lacerations and with more than the odd bruise. The sense of pace is everywhere, even when the band have pulled in the sail, there is the distinct impression that they are just gathering momentum for the next gusting gallop, though it has to be said that whilst there is plenty of the breakneck, there is more than a modicum of breakwater. Whilst there is a strong grounding in Scandinavian Black Metal, there is a lot of melody that is more evocative of Viking Metal in the sense of the voyage and the rolling swell of euphony.
When the gloves are off though, INFINITY can break bones with abandon, “The Legacy Of The Ancient Ones” features some hefty fury, amplified by beefy double bass and a rabid rapid section that'll have your knees a' knocking. On tracks like this, the melodies are more orthodox and truer to form than found on some of the other bearskin and brain bucket tracks, they remain rousing motifs though and add a fiery counterpoint to the ice-picking elsewhere. The band are adept at adding emphasis, nothing too grand, just an increase in the intensity of the already lively drumming here or a puff on the bellows to brighten the glow of the lead guitar there, it all has effect and balances the familiarity with the sense of conviction.
All the lickety-split is chided by the harsh vocals, they are crypt-born and have that croaked quality with just the hint of whisper, some of the chorus sections involve gruff accompaniment, battle cries from unholy hearts. As the album progresses, it seems to gain movement, when “Stare Into The Void” and it's ensuing partner rip in, it's a case of the relentless, especially the former as it blasts along with all the purpose of a bloke who's just found out what his wife gets up to when he's working nights. “Choronzon” interupts the flow but it's forgiven due to not being too indulgent, timewise, anyhow it sets up the listener for the more epic “The Legend Of The Sunken Monastery,” which is perhaps the most diverse of all the songs on the album, introducing more folkish elements and a gradual heightening of the moment before all hell lets loose again.
Having coughed up nigh on an hour of highly charged Black Metal, it's gratifying that INFINITY have managed to maintain the poke, it's like watching your favourite war film, you might have seen that pincer move many a time but you still glory in each explosion and the sound of the ricochet.
It's pointless resisting, better not try and best the gale, just tie yourself to the mast and prepare yourself for a lashing.
(Online January 23, 2009)