Infinity - Official Website


Hybris

Netherlands Country of Origin: Netherlands

1. Arousing The Sleeping Serpent (Intro)
2. Destroy The Human Within
3. Wrath Of The Djinn
4. The Fall (Prelude)
5. Hybris
6. At The Crossroads
7. Oracle Of The Dead
8. The Mountain Of Oath
9. Prometheus Unbound
10. LCF


Review by Felix on November 25, 2023.

There exists a great rivalry between the Netherlands and my home country in terms of football. Quite apart from the fact that I always appreciated the style of the Dutch team, I like the Netherlands in general and bands like Asphyx, Hail of Bullets or early Pestilence made it easy to have positive association with the western neighbours of Germany. Not to mention Infinity, whose last album was a tremendous masterpiece. Now the formation was challenged to write a worthy successor.

The title track was the first piece I got familiar with. Its rather leisurely flowing melodies give the gloomy guitar work the option to spread its full aroma. The pretty catchy song turns out to be a real earworm and emphasises the melancholic side of the band's portfolio. Infinity have cultivated this lugubrious facet right from the beginning and "Hybris" (the song) shows that the less furious approach enriches the musical offering of the well-versed protagonists. And, to bring this issue to an end, it goes without saying that the intro is virtually predestined to add some atmospheric sequences as well. It's rather a regular instrumental than an intro, a great start for a typical - and therefore exciting - Infinity album which combines successfully occultism and fury as well as darkness and brutality.

B. Xul and his partners have never released a lukewarm or half-baked work and "Hybris" does not break with this tradition. The whole concept, the symbiosis of music, lyrics and virtual aspects, seems to be well thought through. One might say that the Dutch army does not add a lot of new elements to its musical and spiritual approach, but I think it's only natural that a band has found its style after a couple of albums. Moreover, integrity has always been an important factor from my point of view when dealing with metal bands. Infinity definitely embody authenticity and their black, opaque anthems seem to come from the darkest parts of their souls. Having that said, you will not be surprised that "Hybris" shines with homogeneity, conviction and clarity. Better still, there is no reason to fear significant quality differences between the individual songs. Frontal assaults like the stirring "Prometheus Unbound" or "LCF" at the end of running order do not stand in the shadow of the first regular track, the equally forceful "Destroy the Human Within".

The song material profits from a powerful, well-balanced production. Its warm yet robust sound is intriguing. Due to the slightly melodic approach, the guitars do not strive for ugliness. Thank God, Lucifer or whoever, "Hybris" does not sound like a rehearsal recording from a Malaysian or Anatolian dungeon. Six albums of blackness have proven the group's loyalty to the underground and therefore the guys are by no means interested in shocking the listener with a rumbling mix. Instead, they are heading for the same target group as Necrophobic and similar units. Fans of the highly talented Swedish institution will be surprised about this strong competitor from South Holland, because Infinity can stand up to this comparison. Lethal bullets like "Oracle of the Dead" or "The Mountain of Oath" with their dynamic tempo changes show the creative potential impressively. Among other things, they shine with the imperious and demonic voice of multi-talent Balgradon Xul. He is simultaneously responsible for the entire rhythm section and one can say without exaggeration that he does an excellent job. Guess this dude had so much to do that there was no time for shaving his proliferating beard. Anyway, the face of his guitarist Draconis shows the same symptom, but I admit that this prominent kind of masculinity does not hurt the quality of the full-length. Even the stylish booklet remains unaffected and the cover artwork adds an appropriately totalitarian touch. Don't forget the old dogma of the band: black metal is intolerance.

The Dutch football team, the so-called Elftal, is currently in crises, but I am sure that Cruyff's "Voetbal total" will come back. In the meantime, my neighbours can be proud of having formations like Infinity. Okay, Cruyff revolutionised football while his compatriots convince with a less unique way of proceeding. But who cares as long as we are listening to such a masterly executed performance? No doubt, in a fairer world, Infinity would be a real export hit.

Rating: 8.9 out of 10

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