Inferi – Vile Genesis
Inferi are surely building a name for themselves in the realm of modern tech-death, having already a number of impressive releases out there that have fans of technical music swarming their way more and more. While they’re not one of the biggest bands in the genre, they’ve gotten to a level that allows them to be easily compared to the likes of Archspire, Beyond Creation or Obscura, and based on my recent jams through their latest album, “Vile Genesis”, I can easily state that they brought forth one of the strongest tech-death releases of the past year.
Looking at past releases, I’ve gotten quite accustomed to their style of over-the-top tech-mania merged with legendary amounts of testosterone in the lyrical themes and vocal parts. When I listen to Inferi, I get ready for absolute chaos. And that punishing approach holds true on their most recent beast as well, but compared to their previous work, there seems to be something about this one that’s more refined. They’ve reached a balance between their technical and complex songwriting, sense of groove and atmosphere that keeps these gargantuan creations on track, allows them to be coherent and engaging, and more mature in many aspects.
The aura that I get from the imagery and attitude of “Vile Genesis” is along the lines of what would happen if Marvel’s Avengers saga and The Fast and Furious saga decided to get together and create actual quality content that makes sense. To clarify what I mean by that, Inferi’s music easily amounts to the level of absurdity that these movie series have presented, but in the process, it doesn’t lose a shred of credibility. Plus, the lyrical approach does feel like something that would work in a Marvel movie, only with a bit more imagination going into it. The story isn’t really clear to me, but it seems to present some evil tyrant, alien or whatever supreme being that finds a way to gain control of humanity by means of their digital devices, infecting them in a hive-mind sort of manner. Furthermore, there’s some zombie apocalypse type stuff going on and in the midst of it all, a genocidal image of the entire earth being reduced to a unique organism of destruction. And our rather noisy narrator Stevie Boiser seems to be in charge of the whole operation.
Inferi – Simian Hive ( Click here if the video does not play )
Now what better means to deliver a story of the sort than through the wondrous craft of technical death metal? Let’s have a look at what these shredniacs are capable of. The riff-style is incredibly fast, relying heavily on ridiculous confusing runs up and down the fretboard with a pretty keen sense of melody flowing with the dynamic. But there’s no shortage of proper chugging, almost to a slamming manner at times. The guitar and bass playing follows an extreme game of constant noodling through different motions of the song, be it grooves, runs, progressive chops or headbangable riffs, but the main idea is that they hardly ever cease the onslaught. And when they do, it’s in order to leave some properly creepy vibes to come through. Intros and breaks in certain songs (‘Mesmeric Horror’, ‘No Gods But Our Flesh’) have a distinctively evil and descending tone, very expressive of the digital warfare going on in the story. The expressive value doesn’t end there as many of the guitar lead melodies have a badass movie villain tone going on and amount to epic moments. For example the outro to ‘Simian Hive’ seems to have a strange Amon Amarth tone to the lead melody. And when we mention leads, we have to get into the solos themselves as well. Both guitarists, Malcolm Pugh and Mike Low shred to impress as the songs have multiple lead moments scattered throughout their duration that seem to flow effortlessly in and out of the punishing extremity going on. But the solos offer the most melodic component of the music, often clearing out the tension and enhancing the grandeur of the songs as soon as they appear. All moments of relief are short lived though, since these guys aren’t fans of dwelling on a certain musical idea for longer than 20 seconds. Andrew Kim’s bass tones are particularly gnarly as well, following the fluid tech-death sound but bringing it to a theatrical display of supreme evil when merged into some of the most eerie atmospheric soundscapes that this band creates. Throw an ear at the title track, ‘Vile Genesis’, for a particularly epic break into a menacing atmosphere with a bass solo.
Inferi – Vile Genesis ( Click here if the video does not play )
The production quality and overall soundscapes seem to have been updated as well. It is as monstrous as it was on their previous EP, “Of Sunless Realms”, but by comparison, it seems fine-tuned for speed, precision and clarity, making this record sound like an advanced cyber-warfare killing machine, more synthetic yet more deadly. I say this because the drum sounds embarrass any form of firepower known to man. The constant alternations and switches going on in the double kick patterns and the on/off switching between blast beats, grooves, transitions and off-beat patterns would have you thinking there isn’t a human mind, but rather a series of quantum computers controlling the 4 limbs battering that kit (is it really only 4?). Risking a dangerous comparison here, I will say that Spencer Moore’s progressive hyperactivity is probably the only drum performance I’ve heard to properly remind me of the infamous Archspire, and while those tech-death legends bring forth the most flat-out absurd display of speed, this guy seems to bring a similar drilling sound and place it into a more diverse, intricate and engaging delivery, that can really get your head banging.
Inferi – Mesmeric Horror ( Click here if the video does not play )
When you put together the technique, complexity, epic melodies and infernal oppressive aura, it starts sounding like “Vile Genesis” might just be 2021’s most evil album. It’s relentless all the way through and sure loves to flex its muscles as much as possible. And when the closing track ‘Heirs of the Descent’ starts nearing its end, a hollow, desolate mood seems to sink in, zooming away from apocalyptic imagery and allowing you to see the aftermath of the onslaught that took place. A new reign of tyrannical evil has begun, and it all started from our smartphones. Maybe I should rethink the device I use to write these very reviews…
- No Gods But Our Flesh (04:49)
- Maelstrom Prison (05:24)
- Simian Hive (05:05)
- From Exile to Exaltation (04:42)
- Vile Genesis (05:44)
- Mesmeric Horror (05:14)
- Carving Thine Kingdom (05:47)
- Heirs of the Descent (06:59)