This will be a brief review of something I picked up quite a while ago, but never really spent much time with. The thing of it is that I was asked to review one their older albums, 1998s Unholier Than Thou, but got the two mixed up. I basically brought the wrong one with me when I went on my Easter vacation, high up in the Norwegian mountains. I discovered my mistake too late, but took the time to listen to One Who Points to Death a few times instead. (Don’t worry Chris, the Unholier than Thou review will come, but it might be a few more weeks).
Anywho…. Back to the music at hand, so to speak.
I’ve been in possession of all three albums by these Canadian thrasher for a few years, I bought them at that download frenzy I had few years ago, but wasn’t particularly impressed and haven’t paid them much mind since. In more ways than one, this was a poor decision because they have produced quite a few fine metal tunes.
The core members of Infernäl Mäjesty are the guitar duo of Kenny Hallman and Steve Terror, and guitars are very much the focus of this album at least. The music is so guitardriven that I am not even sure if there is an actual bassline here. If … and Justice for All has taught us anything, it is that you can make an excellent metal record without bass, it’s just going to sound like shit. And this is exactly what we got here, well the record is nowhere near as good as Justice, but it’s still a heavy, well written record that sounds like crap.
Now you might be thinking of crappy sounding thrash records like the first Slayer EPs or Overkills debut, but this is mid 2000s crappy sound. This would entail that everything that is recorded acoustically sounds like crap, in this case: drums and vocals, at least this is my guess, and that the guitars are recorded digitally without amps, straight through the board.
The guitar sound is marvelous, I like the gritty, almost dirty and heavily overdriven sound. It reminds of Sodom and Kreator. The style of riffing and songwriting is also nudging towards the teutonic thrash.
The title track is an absolute killer. The riff is great, the melody has a drive and feel to. It is fist poundingly good. The opening track, Death of Heaven, hits you in the guts and doesn’t let up for about six and half minutes. Pestilential Eternity has the best title, but is not the best song.
Cathedral of Hate has a really cool middle section that blows me away every time I listen to it. Virgin Blood Tastes Purest at Night has some hilariously macabre lyrics and great main riff.
For some reason this album has been labeled as death metal at various sites, and there is some truth to that, but in general Infernäl Mäjesty har more in common with Slayer than Cannibal Corpse. I guess this review didn’t turn out as short as I had thought.
Recommended downloads: One Who Points to Death, Death of Heaven and Cathedral of Hate.