FROM THE BLACK SWAMP
To be released on September 30, 2021 (Infrared)
We can never have enough quality Canadian metal bands. Hailing from the nation’s capital is Infrared, here on full display with their fourth CD release. Their previous offerings are No Peace, Saviours, and Back To The Warehouse. From The Black Swamp is scheduled for a mid-September release… As detailed below, it will be worth the wait.
Let’s begin with the cover art… some truly hellish Lord of The Flies imagery on display. In summary, through the album’s 12 tracks, Infrared display a fierce enthusiasm to their craft as disciples of classic thrash metal — think Exodus, newer Metallica, and Death Angel. The songs are full of awesome breakdowns, and have been wonderfully produced by guitarist / vocalist Armin Kamal and he is joined by Kirk Gidley on guitar, Mike Forbes on bass, and Alain Groulx on drums. As befits their genre, Infrared stuff their songs with millions of wicked riffs. I’m very happy to hear that Kamal’s production has successfully captured Forbes’ tasteful basslines, a most tricky feat.
Onto the songs, and there is lots to like here. My favourites are “Blood & Sweat”, “Lockdown” and “Tradimento.” Some honourable mentions… “Eat Your Own” showcases a very dirty riff, with a cool fade out, and album closer “Semita Domum” is a heavy instrumental with atmospheric vocal embellishments. The title track has a very epic feel with an acoustic flourish to close.
If you are a fan of very well crafted thrash metal, plan to add From The Black Swamp to your collection. Buy Canadian!
01. Tribal Junction
02. No Masters, No Gods
04. Left Lane F√⊄k!
05. Eat Your Own
06. From The Black Swamp
07. Evil Ascent
08. Blood & Sweat
09. Eternal Exile
11. Beautiful Death
12. Semita Domum
Armin Kamal – lead vocals, guitar
Kirk Gidley – guitar, backing vocals
Mike Forbes – bass, backing vocals
Alain Groulx – drums, backing vocals
Recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Armin Kamal
Reviewed by John Lewis for Sleaze Roxx, August 2021