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Infamia - Infamia CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.00 | 1 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars There's technical death metal that is pretty much "normal" death metal with some technical frosting on the cake and then there's just crazy tech death and the obscure Italian band INFAMIA from the lovely gondola filled waterway city of Venice is indeed the latter. Out of all the unlikely places, this was home to one of the wildest and most experimental bands to fall under the death metal banner. So wild and ahead of their time that they only managed to release a couple demos and this one full eponymously titled album in 1994 before disappearing into the metal ethers leaving nary a detail of their existence. The band consisted of Emanuele Ferrabo on vocals and structure guitars, Christian De Bortoli on emotive guitar, Michele Conte on free bass and Marcello Cuppone on intricate drums. Their only album came out on the Zasko Lab label and has only ever seen but one initial pressing. The album is a short one and only barely clocks in over the 26 minute mark.

Immediately from the beginning dissonant chords blaring out of your speakers, the first track "Suffering Information" makes it clear that this band was ambitious in the progressive department and even before we hear the death growl vocals shouted out in full decibelage, we have several time signature freak outs that shift from distorted heavy metal into clean jazz guitar and back again and this schizophrenic musical approach pops in and out randomly throughout the album's run. However, the band manage to churn out some serious death metal riffs and follow through with their head banging rampage before they revert back to some strange guitar lick dueling it out with a clean jazz chord progression or some nice slow post-rock type of guitar run. While the metal and jazz do run independently from each other, they are just as often all mixed up together and even weave in and out of sync.

What we basically get with INFAMIA is Italy's answer to the kings of 90s jazz-metal fusion Cynic with wild ambitious death metal constructs interpolated with healthy doses of jazz guitar and time signatures run amok. While bands like Cynic are the obvious reference point in comparing INFAMIA to the world of 90s death metal, INFAMIA took the much wilder and unpredictable approach and thus have a much more avant-garde sound to their take on death metal. Whereas Cynic were masters of symmetrical compositional delivery, INFAMIA has a much more random feel to their music as track after track seems like a hodgepodge of ideas churning about like clothes spinning around in a washing machine.

This is definitely one for the adventurous metal heads who crave the adrenaline inducing hardcore nature of the death metal scene hand in hand with the most unorthodox jazz inspired musical complexities. While i wouldn't call this debut by INFAMIA a long lost masterpiece by any means due to its inability to coalesce all the parts into a much more satisfying whole such as how Cynic did on their album "Focus," i would call this a highly entertaining and brilliant album that should have served as the beginning stage for much greater things to come, but for whatever reasons that nipped their career in the bud, INFAMIA at least left behind this most intriguing artifact of pure musical madness guaranteed to take you somewhere you never thought you'd go. While not totally cohesive there is more than enough satisfying elements to make this a worthy edition to any progressive extreme metal lover's collection.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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