Infestum is a
band hailing from Belarus. The band has been around for over a decade after
coming together back in 2000. “Monuments
of Exalted” is their third full length offering. Being unaware of the
previous works, I cannot comment on the music transition over the years. But in
this album, the music is extreme black metal that smartly incorporates elements
of industrial and avant garde metal music, creating a unique catch blend that
will have fans of the black metal genre enthralled!
The album begins with “Void of Nebulae”, which begins with a
dark synth tune building up the tempo and atmosphere before some top notch
industrial black metal kicks in! The beats are stripped down and aggressive
attacking the listener with full power. The use of synth has been done to
perfection, and tracks like the one above above and “Ordo Infestum”, is the
testament to that. It slowly broods its evil charm, before kicking into total effect.
Another thing evident right from the first spin, is the heavy influence of Norwegian Black Metal and more importantly - Emperor. The Emperor influence shines throughout this record, with amazing symphonies running through the album, reminding the listener of the great classic record – “In The Nightside Eclipse”. This comes out even more in the slightly slower tracks like “Temple of Mirrors”, with the symphony of keys intermingled with the double pedal blastbeats, creating music that sounds extremely royal and grand.
The album ends on a top note with the title track “Monuments
of Exalted”, which takes the tempo a step down, by bringing in an unexpected doom
vibe to the track. The savage riffs, melodic keys and the furious vocals come
together to create the ultimate symphony, before fading away into nothingness…
Lyrically the album follows the themes of redemption and
individualism though the record. It follows the journey as a man is caught in
the eternal cycle of life and death. Vocal excerpts from various books are used
in an interesting manner to bring out the concept of the album. The album art,
gives out the vibes of an eternal void in the face, as if the messengers of
death are staring down upon us. Gerda Ditrih deserves a mention for creating this
amazing and captivating album art.
Overall, Infestum are a great extreme black metal act who
have once again pushed the boundaries of black metal further apart. The band
along with its black metal mastery, also showcase some real strength in mixing
Industrial Metal into their sound. A must listen if you are a fan of black
metal, served with a slight twist!