Label: High Roller Records
Except for a few people that are extremely aware and know exactly what they want to hear from a band, that respect the decisions of said band, that they won’t try to “force” a band or an album onto others (or the opposite, people that will make fun of your musical choices – I’m laughing while I’m typing, you are big time idiots), there are also people that don’t know what they want, from a band. I’m referring to bands that already had their fair share of releases and they either keep on making music, or they’re now making a comeback. Question is, do you evolve because music evolves, things in general change, there are plenty of new influences nowadays? Do you remain loyal to your typical forms and ruminate the same structures you used to build previous releases on? Do we want progress or do we want stagnation? If a band changes or swifts its style a bit, we don’t like that. When every other album is the same as the previous one and there’s no kicker in it, we still don’t like it because “it’s all the same”. If the result is caught somewhere in-between then we’re like “uh, they don’t know what they want”. In the end, what it is that WE want?
A reflection of the thinking process described above, is the Canadian band Infernäl Mäjesty, that wrote their own page in the history of Thrash Metal, especially Technical Thrash with “None Shall Defy” (which is an anthem) in 1987 and “Unholier than Thou” in 1988. During April 2017, Infernäl Mäjesty are going to release the album “No God” through High Roller Records. Historically, this is their fourth LP and is actually going to be the first one after 13 years. To take this even further, this release will mark Infernäl Mäjesty’s 30 years’ anniversary.
I noticed that “No God” divided people. Some expected it to be ultra-technical Thrash that turns the ground bloody red with its unholy lyrics. Others, witnessing the new direction that Infernäl Mäjesty have been following, which isn’t estranged from their personal style but is a tad bit calmer, they feel underwhelmed, or they start shouting “sell-outs!” and etc etc, you know the drill, the same old punchlines, every time. I, on the other hand, will say that the album is just fine, very adequate, balancing beautifully between modern and old school. I felt that they composed feeling free enough, attempting to remove any outside factors that could affect them, while at the same time their mind was set on specific “bodies”, with specific goals.
At first, this album may confuse you. I felt a bit lost too at some parts, other parts made me think that they could have been skipped or I couldn’t understand their “purpose”. Regardless, by giving this album more chances, I got the gist of it and I’d like to think that I understand what Infernäl Mäjesty were trying to achieve. They want to show that they do honor their legacy and history, while also proving that time passes by and that upgrading your sound and structures the right way, is completely normal.
Moving on to the practical part of this review, “No God” is a one hour long album that is mainly based on rapid Thrash explosions, while there are plenty of rhythm breaks, where mid tempos dominate. They kept their character intact, especially when it comes to guitaring, while increasing the modern elements and enriching crucial parts of the tracks with powerful hooks that get carved on your mind. The dark aesthetic that is typical of Infernäl Mäjesty is still present, especially on the second half of the album, emerging often from solos and breaks. Despite the “load” they’ve been carrying from the 80s, Infernäl Mäjesty sound fresher than ever, with drive and passion. The downside of this album in my opinion, is the quality of the production. It may be balanced sound wise, without instruments covering one another, but I still find the end result very flat. It doesn’t have the depth I expected, that could add the volume needed to skyrocket this album.
In conclusion, “No God” is a very powerful release by Infernäl Mäjesty, that reintegrates them in the music scene. It’s not the “sensation” of the year and it won’t demolish everything in its passing, but it makes an enjoyable listen due to smart ideas on the compositions and excellent performance technic-wise. The fact that they weren’t afraid to exhibit their musical ideas, makes me appreciate them even more. If only the production had more depth, they’d get extra points.
The album includes “Systematical Extermination” and “Nation of Assassins” that were initially released in the 2007 EP “Demon God”. Infernäl Mäjesty had further lineup changes, Eric Dubreil (bass) and Kris DeBoer(drums) were replaced by Daniel Nargang (Kick Axe) and Kiel Wilson (Severed Serenity) respectively. The artwork on the cover is by Safir & Rifas, and it’s titled “Death Angel”/”Fallen Angel”.