Infrared – From the Black Swamp

From The Black Swamp Album Cover Art

Infrared – From the Black Swamp
Inframental Records
Release Date: 30/09/2021
Running Time: 1:00:13
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

Hello my beloved readers. I hope you are still good and safe, and ready to hear about another band that I am so proud to have discovered as a consequence of writing reviews about bands from all around the world! Today’s subject is a band that heard thanks to the same lady who introduced me to Ever Metal back in 2019. I am talking about Sara McIntosh, from Sare’s Invasion radio show, also known as the Queen of Underground Metal. If you hate my reviews, she is the guilty one who motivated me to write reviews in English!

Jokes apart, she promotes only underground bands on her radio show, and I met Armin Kamal there, a few years ago. She was promoting the band’s last EP and I loved the music. At that time, I reviewed it on local radio in Brazil. It was a good experience to hear that album, which consisted of re-recorded material that had almost been forgotten about in their warehouses. Two years later and here I am with their new album, full of new compositions, to see how powerful they are today.

First of all, it’s important to highlight how the four members work in an amazing synergy. Armin Kamal, with his aggressive and melodic vocals, also works insanely on chugging riffs alongside his partner in crime Kirk Gidley. ‘No Master, No Gods’ is enough to show how they both do a killer job. Mike Forbes has the incredible job of keeping his distorted bass present in middle of this wall of heaviness, and he’s done it perfectly as you can hear in ‘Lockdown’.  Alain Groulx just completes the team with an aggressive way of playing drums.

The references to influences which Infrared put into their music are so clear, as if they are honoring their idols. ‘Tribal Junction’ opens the album, in the best ‘Criminally Insane’ way (Slayer), the style of ‘Among The Living’ (Anthrax) in the intro to ‘Evil Ascent’, or ‘Practice What You Preach’ bass (Testament) in ‘Eternal Exile’. Even Metallica’s ‘Orion’ on the closing song ‘SemitaDomum’. However, it is just a matter of references, because all the songs mentioned have only parts that nod to their influence, but soon change to a pure Infrared style of play.

I could summarize what they talk about in their lyrics using their own description of it. It goes from religious mind control, or bad relationships, to the energy of bands on stage. For what I could notice, the subjects are very personal for all members, and they’ve found a way to scream all of it out of their throats.

“From the Black Swamp” shows that Infrared are friends doing what they love after more than 20 years. That’s probably the reason they returned after many years of hiatus. Are they having fun? I have no doubt of it. Despite the fact they’re playing brutal Thrash, with serious subjects, I could feel a kind of happiness and humour around it. Maybe it came from my subconscious that you all know is a little insane! But one thing I’m certain of is that Infrared is a killer band.

Everything in “From the Black Swamp” is so amazing that is almost impossible to stop listening to it, even after finishing my review. If you are fan of the best of what Thrash Metal can offer, listen to it. It is Heavy and brutal, but at the same time it carries something light on its spirit. I could mention many “It is something plus a good adjective”, but let me be restricted to “It is just Infrared! Period”. Listen to it as loud as you can! Cheers!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Tribal Junction
02. No Master, No Gods
03. Lockdown
04. Left Lane F√₵K!
05. Eat Your Own
06. From the Black Swamp
07. Evil Ascent
08. Blood & Sweat
09. Eternal Exile
10. Tradimento
11. Beautiful Death
12. SemitaDomum

LINE-UP:
Kirk Gidley – Guitar
Alain Groulx – Drums
Mike Forbes – Bass
Armin Kamal – Vocals, Guitar

LINKS:

Infrared Promo Pic - Credit Carissa Broeren
Credit: Carissa Broeren

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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