Today we bring you some melodic thrash metal from Switzerland and a debut album which makes easy work of capturing the imagination as it storms the senses. The band is Infinitas, a quintet stirring attention for a while now but has really been luring ears and praise recently with their first album Civitas Interitus. It is easy to hear why too as the release soon reveals itself a web of creative intrigue and drama with a sound much more than that earlier description suggests. In its cauldron you will find as rich an essence of folk and extremes of metal as thrash with elements of power and gothic metal similarly woven into its inventive tapestry.
The band itself first emerged in 2009, formed by guitarist Selv Martone and drummer/vocalist Pirmin Betschart. Its line-up was complete by the following year with the addition of bassist Pauli Betschart, violinist Joëlle Sigrist, and vocalist Isabelle Sigrist. 2011 saw the departure of Isabelle but it was not until 2013 that the band found the right replacement in Andrea Böll. Two years from there Infinitas unveiled their first release, the Self-Destruction EP. It swiftly enticed awareness and high praise the way of the Muotathal outfit in a year which also saw Joëlle depart and preparation for the band’s first album begin with session musician Hanna Landolt providing violin across the 2016 recorded Civitas Interitus. Laura Kalchofner became a permanent member soon after but too late to record the album though she does play on its hidden track with her e-recorder and provide backing vocals in other tracks.
Released earlier this year, Civitas Interitus is a concept album centred round the city of Lunatris which to slim its history down is attacked and torn apart by demons. As its tale, the release needs little time to grab the imagination and intrigue attention with opener The Die Is Cast. A portentous air rises up around the unsuspecting city and populace, a lone voice aware of the dark tide looming over its skies. Peaceful melodies and harmonies rise up next, a deceitful calm bewitching the senses before Alastor opens the gateway for hellish hordes to descend and ravage. Instantly a flirtatious groove grips ears and appetite, the swiftly striking vocal adventure and dexterity of Andrea riding its swing. There is a Toyah like essence to her voice across the album which only adds to her magnetism, an equal attraction just as potently conjured within the song by Selv and Hanna’s melodic often acidic adventure.
It is an outstanding first surge into the psyche, that mix of styles a web of compelling trespass and just as enticing within the following Samael. The song is maybe less bold in its invention than its predecessor but just as fascinating and arousing with the backing tones of Pirmin a fine raw contrast to Andrea’s melodic roars. With rhythms a senses plundering prowl and the violin scything spicily across their bows, the song only enthrals before Labartu ventures into the eye of the storm with its melodic oasis again surrounded with ever enclosing threat. It is an escape though only into the diseased psyche and arms of its particular demonic devouring, the sounds a corrupted fusion of celebration and cancerous rapacity as virulent as a plague.
Its irresistible dance is matched by the instrumental symphony of Aku Aku, a piece of melodic beauty with floating harmonies which gives respite from the tempest soon escalated by Skylla and its siren-esque sonic waters where again melodies tempt and violin coaxing suggests as vocals narrate pleas and acceptance of an inevitable outcome. Both tracks grip attention with their infectious attacks and imaginative twists and turns, the second an especially adventurous flight of sound and emotion.
The outstanding Rudra curses the senses next with its death/folk metal twisted tempest, defiling and seducing them with its climatic roar while being sat astride by Andrea’s striking presence. With thrash bred riffs and toxic grooves infesting song and listener, the track simply grabs the passions to add another lofty peak to the landscape of Civitas Interitus, a plateau equally graced by the Celtic bred Morrigan. From its poetically dark entrance, the track stomps like a tribal dervish, those Irish hues inciting rousing crescendos leading to symphonically seeded venomous claws. As with all songs, there is a great unpredictable edge and uncertainty which never lets expectations get a hold, only intrigue and a hunger to further explore.
The album is finished off by firstly Amon, a song and entity hard to know whether to fear or embrace but one which is impossible to resist and avoid being enslaved by such the instinctive swing and creative maze of the proposition, and lastly through A New Hope, where the native tongue of the narrator leaves words unknown but sentiment open as a sunset of melodies and chants descend. Actually it is not quite the last breath of the album as from its lapping waves that hidden track erupts to add one final pleasurable adventure to the album’s creative theatre.
Before Civitas Interitus was sent our way we had not heard even a whisper of Infinitas; it is something we suspect a great many will be in the position of but for not much longer we suspect if the band’s fiercely enjoyable first album gets the attention and acclaim it undoubtedly deserves.
Civitas Interitus is available now @ https://infinitasmetal.bandcamp.com/album/civitas-interitus
Pete RingMaster 03/10/2017
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