Released: 2013, Self-Released
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
If there’s one thing America can be truly proud of importing, it’s black metal, spitting back out evil offerings such as Wolves in the Throne Room and Absu. Despite taking on such a distinctive and well-defined genre, the American black metal scene has never had any trouble forging its own path, creating its very own distinctive brand. Directly descending from these bastard children are Infera Bruo, hailing all the way from Boston, Massachusetts. Combining their American black metal heritage with more progressive ideas, they are forsaking the ideals of their ancestry for new paths and fresh outlooks.
Don’t get them wrong though, this band is not just any progressive black band, tripping over endless time signature changes while professing their desire for a long and loving relationship with Satan. Progressive for this band is more representative of an ideal, of moving onwards within the genre, a broadening of horizons. Although they steal the traditional black metal harmonies from their lineage, Infera Bruo are no out and out traditionalist band.
There’s no shortage of blast beats and tremolo picking, but there’s also no shortage of drone guitar interludes and vocals ICS Vortex himself would be proud of. Their progressive ideas are not exclusively captured in their music though. Demons, mythology and ritual sacrifices are in short supply in this album, instead replaced by a focus on inner torment. The album revolves around personal struggle, consciousness and the destructive and ageless power of nature.
With the album being so focused on personal struggle, it would be easy to assume that we are getting a glimpse into the minds of the musicians, and with that comes a whole new level of understanding. Aggressive and chaotic right from this offset, there is a real take no prisoners attitude running throughout every song. Standard black metal sections give way to passages where the guitar and drums seem barely able to cling onto each other, both desperately grasping and pushing in their own direction while somehow staying in line.
The real innovation in this album is hidden within this contrast. So many different influences are pulled together to create this truly signature sound. The real skill is how they have mixed so many awkwardly contrasting ideas together, and still pulled out a complete and enjoyable album.
Desolate Unknown was no star struck love affair; I was not hit by any sonic infatuation on the first listening. Infera Bruo have written something vastly better, that lasts infinitely longer. The album is unconventional and avoids catchy riffing or easy listening, the band are here to make you work from start to finish.
To enjoy this album you need to earn it, but given the time and the energy, few albums are more rewarding.
Review by Caitlin Smith
1. Visions of the Inner Eye
3. Segue I
4. Ritual Within
5. Dust of Stars
6. Segue II
7. Invoking Collapse
Guitar/Vocals – Galen
Keyboard – Germanicus
Bass – Neutrino
Drums/Vocals – Ardroth