Released: 2014, Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Here's a Florida death metal troupe who don't sound anything like what you've come to expect of “Florida death metal.” Indeed, Miami's Inferion deliver quite a mixed bag that spans several extreme music genres with their third album, This Will Decay, and is full of surprises.
There's actually more “Scandinavia” than “Florida” in the band's sound, which is best described as “blackened death metal,” though with a greater emphasis on the “blackened.” Throw in a splash of djent/deathcore and even some power metal – the lead break in “Serpent In The Valley” is positively early Maidenesque, as is the synchronized guitar gallop on “Lament,” only with blast beats – and you've got something that's at least unusual, if not unique.
The band – a gruesome twosome of founding guitarist/vocalist Nick Reyes and longtime bassist Frank Gross, who are joined here by drummer Carlos Delgado – have actually been around for nearly 20 years, and what they may lack in relative productivity they more than make up for in their sense of “why the fuck not?” audacity. Picture a mix of Enslaved, Dissection and Sunshine State forebears Nocturnus – though without the synths and sci-fi hokum – and you're in the ballpark of where Inferion are coming from.
This Will Decay opens with the fairly unassuming and even inviting tech-death of the title track, but things start getting interesting right after that with the cascading, full-on black metal of “Carrion For The Scavengers” that recalls In The Nightside Eclipse-era Emperor in its soaring majesty and mid-period Enslaved with its progressive and even melodic flourishes. The shrill dueling vocals of Reyes and Gross add to the madness, as does the rather loose structure that leaves plenty of room for Reyes' swooping riffs.
“Aftermath of Destruction,” “Directionless” and “Contempt” offer more of the same, but bring a jagged, low-register rumble to the guitars and bass that hint of djent or deathcore but fortunately resist rote breakdown temptation or brown sound aspirations that might drown out the black metal clamor. “Until The Sun Consumes Us” and it seemingly polar thematic opposite “Further From The Light,” on the other hand, are built around a fairly straight-ahead metal core only to veer off on black-prog tangents – again a la Enslaved – marked by off-kilter tempos and almost delicate sheets of guitar.
Hats off to whoever produced This Will Decay. The crystalline sound is a real asset here, giving the instruments plenty of separation and power at the same time when a more traditional death metal treatment would have rendered it a muddy, calamitous mess. The guitars here pierce and flay, Delgado's drums punch away like a rivet gun on auto-fire and the vocals attack from every angle, making the album as assaultive as it is adventurous.
Decay starts running a bit low on gas toward the end – though it concludes with the tech-death caterwaul of “Unrestrained” that rather aptly describes the album – but while it's running at full steam it offers quite a thrilling ride.