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INFINIEN

Eclectic Prog • United States


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iNFiNiEN biography
Philadelphia-born iNFiNiEN combines eclectic musical personalities into a visionary, unified force. Far from the typical rock band, they explore new territories of sound by using exotic scales, chords, and rhythms. Using rock, jazz, soul, world, and classical influences, the quartet plays intricately composed songs with flights of fiery and explosive improvisation, driving polyrhythmic grooves, and socially insightful song lyrics. With three albums under their belt the band has found its niche as something truly unique within the international progressive scenes.

The quartet's third record, "Light at the Endless Tunnel" (2016), is a pinnacle of the band's sound and approach to composition and takes cues from all over the music world. Full of beautiful engulfing soundscapes, Old World melodic lyricism, heavy metal riffs, explosive improvisation, futuristic synth textures, Movie Score level grandeur, and socially conscious lyrics. One can expect to hear in any given piece a vast array of influences and styles presented in an evocative presentation. Their compositions borrow just as much from romantic composers like Debussy and Faure as from contemporary artists like Bjork, Tori Amos and Radiohead, world music such as Indian Carnatic music, West African, Middle Eastern and Latin, and even adventurous fusion like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Secret Chiefs 3, John Coltrane and John Zorn. An entity unto itself, iNFiNiEN stirs listeners through a singular and moving musical adventure.

Bio provided by band (Edited by Raff)

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INFINIEN discography


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INFINIEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 14 ratings
iNFiNiEN
2009
3.98 | 18 ratings
Light at the Endless Tunnel
2016
4.57 | 29 ratings
Beyond the Veil
2022

INFINIEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Live at Beardfest
2019

INFINIEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

INFINIEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

INFINIEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.97 | 5 ratings
How to Accept
2006
4.00 | 2 ratings
Beyond the Veil
2022
4.00 | 2 ratings
Wheel to Nowhere (Good Luck)
2022

INFINIEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Beyond the Veil by INFINIEN album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.57 | 29 ratings

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Beyond the Veil
iNFiNiEN Eclectic Prog

Review by WJA-K

5 stars I am so grateful to this community to point me toward great artists and magnificent records.

This album Beyond the Veil is stunning.

Beyond the Veil - a great opener with great musicianship, playful interludes, and a great voice by Chrissie Loftus 9/10

Mannequin Parade - I especially love the rhythm and the flow of this track. The musicianship is spectacular. Drums, bass, and guitar shine 9/10

Wheel to Nowhere (Good Luck) - another gem. It starts mellow and ends fast and wicked. 9/10

Our Breath - Is one of the highlights of this album. Multi-layered, and complex, but still so accessible and enjoyable 10/10

Ascent - Is a brilliant piece of music that takes you on a journey 9/10

The Call - This is a track that starts a bit mysteriously and then shifts towards a Latin sound. Then switching back and forth effortlessly. 8.5/10

Gratitude - One of the faster and more vigorous tracks. Well sung, well played, and another adventure 9/10

Prayer - Beautiful instrumental closer of the album. 8.5/10

This is one of the best albums of 2022 for me. 5 stars, easily.

 Beyond the Veil by INFINIEN album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.57 | 29 ratings

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Beyond the Veil
iNFiNiEN Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars Having been on the scene since at least 2009, the Philadelphia based iNFiNiEN has taken its sweet time in crafting its musical amalgamations that create the playground for progressive rock, jazz, soul, various styles of ethnic folk music as well as classical into an eclectic conglomeration all their own. This band has remained the constant quartet of Chrissie Loftus (vocals, piano & keyboards), Matt Hollenberg (guitars, saz, oud, electric sitar), Jordan Berger (electric & upright basses, sitar) and Tom Cullen (drums & percussion) and has only released three albums, the latest titled BEYOND THE VEIL.

With a challenging angular time signature prowess oft reserved for the world of avant-prog, iNFiNiEN prove to be masters of blending challenging prog complexities with the sensual warmth of vocal jazz and Middle Eastern scales and rhythms fronted by the divine feminine charm of Chrissie Loftus whose vocal style delivers a softening effect to an otherwise complex wealth of prog influences battling it out behind the scenes. BEYOND THE VEIL also features three guest musicians contributing violins, cello and flute. The album with eight tracks at just under 54 minutes provides an outstanding example of how to be original in the modern crowded world of progressive rock / jazz-fusion.

While many progressive rock giants from the golden age of the past have been dissected, copied and incorporated into modern prog with creative new bands reinventing classic sounds. The usual suspects of Yes, Genesis, King Crimson and even Gentle Giant seem to have influenced the entire prog world of the modern era but i haven't heard many nods to the great Italian band Area. The opening title track changes that and delivers a bouncy Balkan gypsy folk fueled groove that is right out of the Area playbook on their classic debut "Arbeit Macht Frei" but integrated with so many other influences that it's not readily apparent unless you've devoured Area's classic masterpiece a ridiculous number of times as i have!

With an impressive opening number the band excels at delivering distinct tracks that are quite diverse in terms of creativity, tones, timbres, instrumentation, time signatures and stylistic approach. Given the knotty time signature workouts that frequently punctuate the flow, i'm often reminded of Thinking Plague as Loftus has that Elaine di Falco playfulness and the vocal prowess to pull off some amazing octave leaps as well as improvisational vocal jazz scatting. In fact it's Loftus' vocals that really allow the music to bloom given a limited vocal style would keep the musical creativity in a certain box or worse sound awkward. Somehow the band balances avant-prog complexities with symphonic prog atmospheres, jazzy chord progressions, classical piano rolls and ethnic, mostly Middle Eastern and Indian rhythms and sound effects.

Despite the ominous album cover which looks like something a technical black metal band would release in the 2020s, BEYOND THE VEIL is actually quite light and breezy for the majority of its playing time. The track "Ascent" for example allows a classical piano run accompanied by symphonic instrumentation to simulate a true ascension into the higher realms with jazzy bass and drums, flutes and a contrapuntal guitar that offers a bit of danger that threatens to derail the journey. The music is masterful in that it's soulful and playfully complex simultaneously. The production is quite excellent as well with a stellar mixing job not to mention the competency of the musicianship which is beyond impressive.

With tracks titled "Gratitude" and "Prayer," iNFiNiEN delivers a healthy dose of positivity as a theme over the intricate musical workouts. Shamefully i have never experienced this band until this release but after experiencing this fine blend of musical styles, i am certainly interested in exploring further. Unique and exquisitely performed BEYOND THE VEIL is the epitome of a modern prog smorgasbord that keeps you enthralled for the entirety of its playing time, not an easy feat to achieve.

 Light at the Endless Tunnel by INFINIEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.98 | 18 ratings

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Light at the Endless Tunnel
iNFiNiEN Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars iNFiNiEN is back! This new release, the band's third album, comes from Philadelphia quartet iNFiNiEN. Thanks to the leadership of experienced torch singer, CHRISSIE LOFTUS--who took some time in the early 2010s to try other genres of music (including a solo album of piano-based soft-jazz vocal covers, Young Hearts)--and guitarist/songwriter Matt Hollenberg, what we have here is another jazz-leaning, progressive rock album from eminently creative and competent instrumentalists in the vein of JEREMEY POPARAD's AXON-NEURON and the funky jazziness of North Carolina's UNAKA PRONG. This a much better produced album than both their 2006 debut, How to Accept, or their eponymously titled 2009 album. Though the debut has a bit of that raw, excited sound that is so often captured in an album of fresh energy of a new collaboration, this one has some of that raw AMANDA RANKIN-like force in it. The band membership has remained fairly solid over those ten years with only virtuoso bass player, Jordan Berger, not being in the lineup for the first album.

1. "Brand New" (5:48) a pleasant, very melodic, tempo-shifting song with orchestral support that puts on display from the very start the band's foundation in intricately layered, well composed and executed jazz rock. Lead vocalist Chrissie Loftus uses a softer, breathier approach on this one than on most of the other songs here. It's very sexy. Me like! Awesome song! (10/10)

2. "AYA" (6:47) a funky (clavinet), almost RUFUS-like song that has an unmistakable similarity to the vocal stylings and musical eclecticism of Courtney Swain and BENT KNEE for its first half. The second half goes heavier like Moorea Dickason MOE-TAR feel and sound to it. (13.5/15)

3. "Oasis" (3:01) there's almost a BASIA joy and feel in the vocal here as well as some very pretty melody-making over some very complex constructed and performed music. (9/10)

4. "Off The Tracks" (7:41) despite the great Tony Levin-like bass play here and some truly incredible instrumental performances, this song seems to be a rehash of old music. (12.75/15)

5. "Bottom Of The Food Chain" (5:57) a gorgeous song with another powerful vocal from Chrissie.(9/10)

6. "Light At The Endless Tunnel" (9:17) opens almost Klezmer then turns quirky world (Indian) metal. (16/20)

7. "Love For Yourself" (6:11) a very jazzy, piano-based AXON-NEURON-like avant song with some very odd and eclectic stylings pulled into one song. I hear Brazilian samba, Jefferson Airplane, STEELY DAN, Amanda Rankin, Rikkie Lee Jones, and so many more. Love the final chorus and end! Very cool! (9.5/10)

8. "Worth The Wait" (2:48) an instrumental that opens with almost Richard Clayderman-sounding piano play before some really superb guitar, bass, drum, and flute work join in. Kind of like FOCUS meets JOE SAMPLE. (8.5/10)

9. "If I Were A Song" (1:39) opens with Chrissie singing with an orchestra as her only accompaniment. Déjà vu Linda Rondstadt 1984. (4/5)

10. "If You Were A Song" (7:50) flowing out of the previous song, the Latin-tinged jazz-rock ensemble joins in while preserving the Cole Porter torch song feel. Nice! I can really understand the BENT KNEE comparisons with this one. The uptempo instrumental section in the middle almost has a YES-like quality to it, while the final three minutes remind me more of THE MARS VOLTA if it were led by a female vocalist. (13.5/15)

11. "Existence" (4:47) opens with an upbeat bass-led jazzy pace and sound. When Chrissie's voice appears it reminds me of some kind of Afro-beat pop music. (8.5/10)

Total Time 61:46

4.5 stars; B+; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music. This is an album of songs from some true song master craftsmen--musically, lyrically, instrumentally. A must hear!

 iNFiNiEN by INFINIEN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.85 | 14 ratings

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iNFiNiEN
iNFiNiEN Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars One band for whom the term "sophomore slump" certainly applies as the promise shown in their very proggy debut album, 2006's How to Accept, remains unrealized. The band seems to have lost a little of its sense of direction, sense of identity, as the songs on this album seem to go in many directions (quite often toward Chrissie's torch song leanings) and not really ever establishing a 'comfort zone.' Chrissie's vocals and stories often feel quite misaligned with the music playing out beneath.

Five star songs: 2. "'Acquatica'" (5:57) (9/10); the emotional, RIKKIE LEE JONES-like torch song, 5. "Trivial Pursuit" (7:13) which does jump into a nice jazz-fusion section in the second half (13.5/15); the excellent, 10. "Perpetual Twilight" (9:47) sounds as if it came from either a Freddy HUBBARD album from the 70s or JANE SIBERRY's 1989 classic 'live,' in- the-studio record, Bound By The Beauty. The frenetic sections are the best. (18/20)

Four star songs: despite its cheesy start, the song 8. "Despierta" (7:55)--which is sung in Spanish--offers quite a fun and beautiful journey--especially with Chrissie's fluid, sensuous Spanish. A great language for her singing style (13/15); the absolutely gorgeous torch song vocal and music of 9. "Beauty Is Beast" (5:17) (8.5/10); 4. "Breathe Easy" (5:33) is an awesome piano-jazz lounge song in the DIANA KRALL or early BILLY JOEL tradition, but barely fits the prog bill (8.5/10); 6. "Into Pieces" (2:37) (4/5); despite some fiercely clever and well-performed music (what drumming!), the lyric/vocal of 7. "Spiritual Rats" (5:47) just doesn't fit, match, or work (8/10); 1. "Knock Knock (Disappear)" (5:57) seems to be trying to be a Turkish-Arabian Reggae song without ever really feeling like one. Too forced despite the fine displays of individual musicianship and the awesome instrumental section. (8/10), and; the incongruous, 3. "Make the Choice" (6:54) (7.5/10).

I call it a slump--mostly for its divergence from what one typically holds as "prog" roots--but this is still a collection of creative and often beautiful music that comes from a group of highly skilled, creative and committed musicians.

Solid four stars; B; a highly recommended musical adventure by a band of truly talented, truly adventurous musicians.

 Beyond the Veil by INFINIEN album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.57 | 29 ratings

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Beyond the Veil
iNFiNiEN Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Some new music--and sounds--from these creative, even innovative, proggers.

1. "Beyond the Veil" (6:56) the familiar side of iNFiNiEN opens this one: piano, Chrissie's quirky lyrics and vocals, and the Tom and Jordan's energetic virtuosity lifting the song and melodies into another jazzier dimension. I like the clever (and quirky) inclusion of the Spanish/flamencan motifs--a bit of THE MARS VOLTA feel therein. (13/15)

2. "Mannequin Parade" (4:58) sound palette and styling a bit reminiscent of some previous sounds and textures--even something from one of their past albums. But it's so smooth, so rich and inviting, the melodies so engaging and enchanting; I feel, truly and really, as if I am being put under a spell, hypnotized. Great groove set down by rhythm masters Jordan Berger and Tom Cullen. A dreamy, top three song for me. (9.75/10)

3. "Wheel to Nowhere (Good Luck)" (6:27) Interesting construct--one whose stop-and-go, high-speed staccato bursts of notes, instrumental with vocals, could not be created or performed so well by many other bands than this. The jazzy psychedelia in the middle is very cool before Chrissy pulls us back into the jazz fabric she and Tom and Jordan are maintaining--but then, just as quickly, the band takes a left turn and forays into a more abrasive, almost metal (TMV) direction. (9.5/10)

4. "Our Breath" (5:50) what a vocal seductress--with an amazing lyric! So poetic it just sucks you into her spell. All the while, the band is performing a rather delicate and super-intricate weave of changing tempo music. Amazing construct! How does one visualize much less articulate this kind of music with all of its seemingly disconnected layers of activity and polyphony? More John McLaughlin-Herbie Hancock-like call-and-response machine gun conversations between guitar and piano while the rhythm section keeps it all glued with such virtuosic performances beneath (not to mention Jordan's virtuosic Jeff-Berlin-like bass play throughout). The most amazing, beautiful, jaw-dropping, yet easy to like and listen to song on the album. (10/10)

5. "Ascent" (9:11) very interesting, old-fashioned, European film noir -type soundtrack music that sounds so exotic and sophisticated as well as mysterious and obscure. I feel as if I'm watching some on-the-tail of a stakeout from some spy thriller set in the South of France or North Africa in the 1960s. Music constructed with the central participation of acoustic instruments--including flute and string quintet (two violin tracks, cello, acoustic guitar, and bass). As the song progresses, there's even a strong Jean-Luc Ponty/Mahavishnu theme/feeling being expressed. Tom Cullen and Jordan Berger are so solid, so integral, and Chrissie and Matt add so much in the way of piano, acoustic guitar and electric guitar textures and flourishes. It's awesome! (18/20)

6. "The Call" (7:18) A political critique. The song is ironically introduced with a slow, gentle musical foundation which then morphs into a pleasant Latin jazz dance form in the second minute. Probably the weakest song on the album in terms of complexity and surprises--though the music and vocal melody choices become quite interesting in the third minute and the fourth minute sees the instrumentalists exploring a variation on the famous X-Files theme. The surprises come in the lyrics. There is also present here a little similarity/familiarity to the music of CIRRUS BAY, though never as simple in musicianship or melodic structure as that of the late melody-master, Bill Gillham. I'm sure this song is very important to the band. Still, it is a song so far superior to so much of the re-hash drivel coming from other bands these days. (13.5/15)

7. "Gratitude" (6:22) Chrissie shows what is so special about her: commanding, unique vocals with great background vocal arrangements. Such a great whole-band weave with some awesome lead guitar from Matt Hollenberg throughout the second half. Top notch music combined with incredible vocal arrangement makes for one amazing song! Each alone would be enough, but together! A top three song for sure. (9.5/10) 8. "Prayer" (4:51) incredible instrumental (with ghostly vocalese)--so smooth and engaging. There is a bit of the drama here of a Pink Floyd/David Gilmour song with the urgence and insistence some of Steven Wilson's stronger songs. Great ender to a great album. (9.25/10)

Total Time 51:53

A/five stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music, taking those terms "progressive" and "rock" to their fullest meaning in terms of progressing rock music into a fresh and forward direction. Definitely an album in the running for 2022 Album of the Year.

 How to Accept by INFINIEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.97 | 5 ratings

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How to Accept
iNFiNiEN Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The debut album from very lively, jazzy, and fun female-fronted, piano-based prog band from Philadelphia, iNFiNiEN. Lead singer/pianist, Chrissie Loftus, is quite talented as composer and singer, but her bandmates are excellent in support. Like a very seasoned jazz combo.

1. "Lost My Way" (6:46) plays out like a wonderful piano jazz pop song with an amazing lead vocalist in Chrissie Loftus and an awesome guitarist in Matt Hollenberg (9.5/10)

2. "Fighting Ghosts" (5:42) campy, cabaret-like, this song is one that digs deep into one's soul and wrenches the emotions. Amazing vocal (if slightly oddly recorded) and gorgeously spacious musical foundation. Slightly disappointing instrumental section and finish. (9/10)

3. "Divine Nature" (7:44) a rock song employing some Eastern European and Arabian elements of sound and structure. It's a little gruff and monotonous--even the instrumental section in the middle--though I love the lead guitar work in the fifth minute. And the vocal melodies never really grab hold like the previous two songs. Nice drumming throughout. (7.5/10)

4. "The Universe Continues?" (5:08) a bit in the same style and feel as song #2, "Fighting Ghosts," these songs work-- mostly on the backbone of an extraordinary vocalist. Great delivery. Chrissie sings every note as if her heart and soul are completely invested. (9.5/10)

5. "Blackhole" (9:05) opens with some very unusual 'guitar'(?) chords before the band joins in with a thick foundation within which Chrissie sings a strongly musically-supported melody. Truly a heavy, dark song that just pulls you along like you're being dragged through mud, and yet, there are some magical moments (piano, vocal, chorus, guitar strums, low end bass notes) and a great ending. (9/10)

B+/4.5 stars; a great debut album and near-masterpiece of progressive rock music.

 How to Accept by INFINIEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.97 | 5 ratings

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How to Accept
iNFiNiEN Eclectic Prog

Review by DangHeck

4 stars With a wide variety of colors and flavors, Infinien's range encompasses Neo-Psychedelia, European folk tradition, and jazzy and Latin rhythms. Great vocals herein (the most certain focal point), and I don't think it's understated: great to hear female lead vox in Prog, especially properly seated amid the company of a very talented and capable band. I found specifically on the track "The Universe Continues?" the softness in her vocal performance to be that not only of a jazz singer, but also a potential BJÖRK influence.

As on their debut LP three years following this EP, nice, satisfying performances and compositions. Definitely a side of Prog I feel is underrepresented today (I'm maybe a bit hard to impress when it comes to Prog Modérn). Didn't think it till later on around the midpoint, but perhaps FFO BEARDFISH; perhaps BENT KNEE.

Somewhere between 3.5 and 3.75, so I'll happily round up.

 Light at the Endless Tunnel by INFINIEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.98 | 18 ratings

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Light at the Endless Tunnel
iNFiNiEN Eclectic Prog

Review by wiz_d_kidd

4 stars Imagine yourself in a smoke filled night club of the late fifties, grooving to the heart-melting serenades of a lovely female jazz vocalist as she nails more sharps and flats than a box of knives, and effortlessly hops octaves note-to-note as if her voice knew no range limitations. Imagine also that you plucked away her stogie-puffing jazz-hammering piano player and replaced him with a full-on prog band that can crank out deliciously innovative grooves that accompany her perfectly while being outstanding on their own. If you can imagine that, you've just imagined iNFiNiEN.

This band is amazing and quite innovative in their overall approach to music. The closest band, in a stylistic sense, I can think of is Mad Fellaz from Italy (c.f. "Hollow Shell" on Mad Fellaz II) -- and they're only a vague match stylistically.

I was fortunate enough to see them live at ProgDay in September 2017. There were many bands that played those two days, and iNFiNiEN were one of only two bands that garnered full-audience standing ovations -- the second was Shylock from France. They were clearly one of the highlights of the festival.

This prog album is not only filled with jazz vocal stylings, but you'll hear some funky passages, as well as ethnic-influenced numbers. Vocal surprises abound, and the music just progs-out throughout! Love it! An easy 4.5 stars for innovativeness and execution!

Thanks to raff for the artist addition.

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