Reviewed: August 2021
Released: 2021, self-released
Reviewer: Graeme Smith
As I Google the name Infex I discover that there is a company called Infex that produce drugs for pandemic infections. So the big question on everyone’s lips is, will Infex provide the cure? (I can see you all rolling your eyes now!).
Starting in the Bay Area in San Francisco (good start for a thrash band) in 2010, the album ‘Burning In Exile’ is the group’s third release. They describe themselves as ‘old dudes playing metal’, which sounds like they are a well grounded set of guys. The album kicks off at a frenetic pace and the influence of Metallica and Slayer is massively apparent in their sound. Clearly the group are excellent musicians and the production is tremendous. Their sound is as clean as a whistle with complex rhythm changes handled brilliantly for what is probably a small budget.
There isn’t a weak song on the album and songs like the opening track Blood of the Wicked, The Burning, Legions of Hate and Acid Reign are real stand outs. Each song is unrelenting and intense with Jack and Adam’s guitars are right to the front of the mix which really should be the norm for a thrash band. I really like what I’m hearing, although I wouldn’t say that it is the most original of material as the sound is so very similar to aforementioned Big 4 that started the thrash genre. However, what I will say is that if you do it right it doesn’t matter that you have a sound so similar to another band. A perfect example of this is Airbourne who are AC/DC clones and who take sounding like another band even a step further than this material, but as you will know, that isn’t a bad thing and neither is this.
Throughout the album, the vocals are shared between Jack, Adam and RC but I find no negative effect on any of the songs at all depending on the vocalist. All of the incredibly tight guitars and bass are urged on by some fantastic drumming from Corey which produce a massive wall of sound. Why this band aren’t bigger is a bit of a mystery to me as if you like thrash, this is up there with the best of them. I hope they come to Europe soon as you will get some uncompromising, no nonsense, good old metal.
As the album nears the end, it even takes a moment to veer away from the serious stuff with a song called ‘Beer Run’ which is just downright good fun. I would hate to be holding a beer when the pit opened up around me as it wouldn’t last very long. This has a similar sound and feel to the $5.98 EP released by Metallica many years ago and it offers something slightly different to the rest of the album which then returns to serious concepts with 7.62. A gut wrenching, finger ripping, drum destroying end to a ferocious 40 minutes of pure energy. It’s a joy to behold.
Infex are fundamentally the spawn of the Big 4, but sometimes the kids are better than their parents. Look, not for one second am I suggesting that they are better than Metallica, but holy shit, this album is a belter. I said at the start of this review that Infex might offer the cure. Now they might not have that but they certainly sound like they have stumbled upon the right formulae to put a huge smile on your face. Just go buy it!