Tuesday 4 July 2017

Review: Infernal Angels – 'Ars Goetia'

Italian black/death metal outfit Infernal Angels unleash their fourth full-length studio outing in fifteen years, 'Ars Goetia'. The band are a unit that evidently takes their time to write and record their albums. And individually there are some great tracks here that reflect that attention to detail, but is this the breakthrough the band are looking for?

Mixing black and death metal with a hint of dark ambient textures the band evoke the likes of Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, and Vredehammer with their bludgeoning yet melodic structure. Songs such as 'Vine: Destroyer Of The World', 'Asmoday The Impure Archangel', 'Balam: Under Light And Torment', 'Belial: The Deceiver', and 'Beleth: Lord Of Chaos And Spirals' provide the album with a solid backbone of rhythmically satisfying headbanger friendly tracks with varying tempos but always sustained ferocity.

There isn't much in the way of variation in terms of the ambience hinted at that on the intro 'Amdusias: The Sound Of Hell', save for the great section at the beginning of 'Paimon: Secret Of The Mind' with it's tribal drums and ambient drones that erupt into a great riff. It would have been nice to hear more of that as it gave the album a little more depth.

Producion-wise it's a fairly solid to a certain point, but does suffer from a brick wall style mix with the melodies, rhythms and vocals all sounding distinct, but overall trapped and flat as a whole. It doesn't really attempt anything dangerous or overly experimental but focusses on the raw power of their core sound.

While there are some great individual tracks here, 'Ars Goetia' feels like it is lacking something as an overall album. The songs are strong but their doesn't feel like there is a narrative that ties the demonic theme together. No individuality conferred befitting the titles of the tracks, just systematic ferocity that, when compared to tracks such as 'Amdusias: The Sound Of Hell' and the start of 'Paimon: Secret Of The Mind', shows a bit of a missed opportunity to do something really interesting instead.  

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