Infinity - Official Website

Non De Hac Terra

Netherlands Country of Origin: Netherlands

1. Non De Hac Terra
2. The Opponent
3. Reginam Aeternum Noctis
4. Beyond The Stars...
5. The Grey Stone Monument
6. Onwards The Funeral Pyre
7. Unholy Sacrament
8. The Inevitable Darkness

Review by Felix on March 23, 2024.

Most of you will agree that the optical appearance of a metal album is always just an incidental. Nevertheless, the fourth regular album of these Dutch black metal purists shines with an outstanding design. The artwork, created by Necrolord, is as impressive as the relief printing on the front and back cover. But the main attraction is a large twelve-sided booklet. Therefore, the packaging undoubtedly delivers value for money. The obvious question to ask here is whether the music can maintain this standard.

After an atmospheric wind and thunder intro, the opener starts with a dramatic sequence. It is characterized by conjuring vocals and slowly growing riffs. This ritualistic opening soon turns to a typical Infinity song. Its dark melodies follow the same approach as the tunes on the earlier works of the band. The three-piece mixes velocity, darkness and harmonies once again in a very clever manner. Dissection´s first albums still serve as a reference point, but I do not think that it is fair to draw this comparison again and again. Band leader Balgradon Xul seems to be a man of conviction. I am sure that he does not care too much about a band that had its best time more than twenty years ago. And he is right to do so. However, one thing is for sure, Infinity deliver very strong black metal monuments on this album. The songwriting is refined again. The harshness, the intensity and the vicious riffs - it is amazing to see that everything has achieved the next level. Not at least due to this process, this full-length emanates a feeling of impenetrable darkness.

The B side offers slightly weaker material than the A side. This is no surprise, because the first half of the album hits the mark in a very impressive manner. Each and every of the four songs deserves the highest praise. "Reginam Aeturnum Noctis", for instance, tries to confuse the listener with an almost friendly guitar line at the beginning. But the versatile track quickly transforms into an intensive and cold piece of genuine black metal without eschewing less harsh intermezzos. However, the rapid parts dominate the sound impression of this highlight, not least because of its fantastic high speed ending. The punchy and fast-paced "The Opponent" is more aggressive. Apart from this, it shines with an enthralling chorus which finds the right balance between harshness and catchiness.

These tunes do not reveal new facets of the band´s musical skills. But Balgradon Xul and his comrades deliver their well-known songwriting approach in a better way than ever before. The songs do not lack of breaks that increase the excitement. But they do not hurt the atmosphere so that the album offers an almost perfect flow. As indicated above, every single track of the A side is able to blow you away. To close this section, the mighty "Beyond the Stars..." is opened by a stirring riff and combines rabid speed parts with traditional and almost playful sequences in a clever way. The concentration of black masterpieces makes the first half of the vinyl to something special. To come back to Dissection for the last time, I do not understand why Infinity´s reputation is not as excellent as that of the Swedish trailblazers. I suspect that the band members of Infinity were just born too late. Apart from that, it goes without saying that a stable line-up including a firmly engaged drummer would be helpful.

As you may have guessed, the three musicians stick to their guns on the B side, too. Of course, the haunting atmosphere is still present. Fascinating parts, for example the melancholic yet heavy solo of "Onwards the Funeral Pyre" alternate with slightly less exciting sequences. However, by objective standards, I have no reason to lament. Under the bottom line, the general impression of the B side is also very convincing. The same applies for the appropriate production. In accordance with the general attributes of the here presented genre, the sound can be described as full, dense and dark. No instrument falls through the cracks and the threatening voice unfolds its effect in a more than solid manner. Ultimately, this means that the monolithic album is able to enrich the collection of every black metal follower. Do yourself a favour and give it a try.

Rating: 9 out of 10