Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Never known as the rock capitol of the world, Moldova has though got its own thriving underground scene and ruling over it all is five-piece Infected Rain.
Formed in 2008, they’ve been bringing their very own twisted take on progressive metal, their first EP released within a year and following that by a full-length debut, ‘Asylum’ in 2011. With constant touring and several high-profile festival slots the band caught the eyes of Napalm Records and new album ‘Ecdysis’ is the latest from this fruitful partnership.
It’s impossible to sit still as the first notes of ‘Postmortem Pt 1’ start to gently drift from the speakers, the feeling of a coming storm overwhelming and when it explodes in a fury of coruscating riffing and the feral screams and growls of Lena Scissorhands, known as Elena Cataraga to her friends and family, the damage is instant and devastating.
As with Jinjer’s Tatiana Shmailyuk, there is a mix of this visceral singing with clean vocals that are imbued with sublime melody and it’s a heady brew that certainly demands attention.
If anything, tracks like ‘Fighter’ show the band are even heavier than their Ukrainian counterparts, the guitars of Vadim Ojog and Sergey Babici brutal in their attack and Scissorhands a guttural force of nature.
Whilst she may not have the shockingly metallic fry of Shymailyuk, there’s certainly an utter commitment to the singer’s performance and the song is played like their very lives depend on it, the dynamics with the softer passages highlighting the thought they’ve brought into every second.
The pace is relentless throughout, the spiralling patterns of ‘Goodbye’ and the almost dance feel of ‘Longing’ interspersed with crushing beats, giving a well-earned nod to the bass of Vladimir Babici and Eugene Voluta’s drums as they seem unstoppable, driving the rocket fuelled heart of the band
There’s a feel of the industrial to the guitarwork of the latter track and this is seen also in the Rammstein-like riffing of ‘The Realm of Chaos’ where the band are joined by the full throttle tones of Butcher Babies vocalist Heidi Shepherd, the whole sounding like an ear rupturing explosion in a fireworks factory.
Along with the assault, Infected Rain have artfully added electronica into their armoury, the beats and keys making their sound a unique one that’s showcased in tracks like ‘Everlasting Lethargy’ and ‘Showers’ to striking effect and with Lena going from the guttural to a truly tender fragility it’s even more compelling.
The electronics on ‘November’ are pure 80’s in their sound, the band bringing in elements of J Rock that Babymetal mined so successfully but eschewing the sugary sweetness and swapping that for the untamed and savage. ‘Never the Same’ also balances the two sides of the band, with both the heavenly and base brought to sharp, eviscerating contrast.
The album closes with more dreamy vocals and electro waves in ‘Nine, Ten’ as this washes into ‘Postmortem Pt 2’ before more scorching fretwork takes over, atmospheric melody and blistering muscle intertwining perfectly. An early contender for the most striking and thrilling album of the year, ‘Ecdysis’ is a clear sign to that Infected Rain are serious contenders. The deluge is coming.
Ecdysis track listing:
1. Postmortem Pt. 1
5. The Realm of Chaos feat. Heidi Shepherd (Butcher Babies)
6. Everlasting Lethargy
7. These Walls
10. Never the Same
11. Nine, Ten
12. Postmortem Pt. 2
Ecdysis will be available in the following formats:
-1 LP Gatefold Black
-1 LP Gatefold Marbled White/Blue (limited to 100 – Napalm Worldwide Mailorder only)
-1 LP Gatefold Marbled White/Blue w/ Slipmat (limited to 100 – Napalm RoW Mailorder only)
-CD Digipak + Shirt (Napalm RoW Mailorder only)
INFECTED RAIN is:
Lena Scissorhands – Vocals
Vadim Ojog “Vidick” – Guitar
Sergey Babici – Guitar
Vladimir Babici – Bass
Eugene Voluta – Drums
INFECTED RAIN online: