The Untamed Hunger
Review by Felix on September 18, 2023.
I do not exactly know why, but the global scene does not pay enough attention to the art of Netherland’s Infinity. This band delivers very well arranged black metal since 20 years and seven full-lengths. It’s remarkable that they never changed their style significantly, but they also never fell victim to predictability. Even though the listener is already familiar with their general direction, the Dutch devils are able to spend their compositions a lot of exciting melodies, dynamic outbursts and gloomy sections. This mix has always resulted in an interesting album and The Untamed Hunger does not hurt the tradition. It is another meticulously designed output whose more or less melodic black metal casts its spell over the listener.
I probably need to clarify the use of the term "melodic". I do not mean it this way that Infinity’s songs are overly harmonic. Let’s pick out 'Hakathriel'. Its mild opening sequence could have been found under the pillow of Steve Harris, but the song houses thunderous, pretty violent chapters as well. (By the way, it’s a very strong track that makes up for the solid, but not outstanding 'Ortus Luciferi'.) No, I use the word “melodic”, because Infinity have a knack for very expressive melodies. They cause a great impact on the general quality of the material while conveying melancholy, loneliness and hopelessness. Moreover, they are the main reason why the compositions do not lack depth. The fact that Infinity always give their individual songs enough time to develop their full strength plays an important role as well. Black metal should not be metallic fast food, even though some short tracks of the last Azaghal full-length seem to indicate something different.
Infinity’s songs are still free from any kind of barbaric or inappropriately brutal components. Their style is influenced by Swedish bands that were or still are able to give their unholy art an elegant element. Of course, I am speaking of formations such as Necrophobic or their brother project In Aphelion. Needless to say, this approach only works with an adequate, professional production. Any form of lo-fi underground sound would kill this type of lightness which seems to hover above things. But The Untamed Hunger is not to blame for a negligent sound. Quite the opposite, it is somewhat polished, but completely dark and without the slightest tinge of sterility. After so many years in business, we can be sure that the Dutch duo has a clear vision concerning its sound and it is able to realize its intention. Thus, the album sounds absolutely authentic, especially the more or less typical but still passionate and raw vocals of Balgradon Xul.
Is it necessary to mention that we do not find a weak song here? As far as I remember, Infinity would still have to write their first boring piece. It’s an almost flawless discography and new highlights like 'Infernam Aeternam' or the title track track lengthen my imaginary “Best Of Infinity” compilation, which has been already quite opulent before. Artwork and booklet also add value to the output, because their stylish design reflects Infinity’s non-vulgar way of proceeding. Therefore it’s a bit sad that the brilliantly intense and excessively attacking closer already heralds the end. But if you give yourself the name Infinity, then I expect nothing less than never ending creativity. Given this situation, I am already eagerly awaiting the next masterpiece of the two competent protagonists.
Rating: 8.4 out of 10753