Infrared – Back To The Warehouse

Pic By Gord Weber

The Back To The Warehouse EP sees Canadian thrashers Infrared releasing in their words “… the last of the old songs that we felt should see the light of day.” It comes as the band prepares to record a new album for an anticipated 2020 release and we can only agree that its 4 originals and one cover of an Iron Maiden song are certainly deserving of this rather enjoyable outing.

Ottawa hailing Infrared originally rose up back in the mid-eighties as the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax were shaping the attention on thrash metal. Embracing that Bay Area inspiration, Infrared released the R.I.P. EP in 1988 before going on an extended hiatus the following year. 27 years on the band united with original members in vocalist/guitarist Armin Kamal, guitarist Kirk Gidley, and drummer Alain Groulx recruiting bassist Mike Forbes to replace the other band founder, Shawn Thompson who had since those early days moved to Miami. A debut album in No Peace soon followed with its successor, Saviours, released last year.

Back To The Warehouse echoes that time when the Big 4 were driving thrash, the likes of Testament, Exodus, and SOD equally making an open inspiration to the tracks within it yet it has a freshness to its particularly individual nostalgia which is not out of place with anything new being cast by current thrashers.

The EP opens up with Meet My Standards and instantly hits its stride and groove as riffs and rhythms cast a familiar thrash incitement upon the senses. Its voracious swing just as urgently got under the skin, setting up body and appetite for the subsequent trespass of familiar yet as suggested freshly animated thrash enterprise. As arousing as its assault is there is also a predatory essence which particularly stalks the listener in certain moments before One Mouth Two Faces brings its own rapacious canter and character to the fore. Forbes’ bass particularly grabbed the appetite but no more than the insurgent riffs and intrepid wires of the guitars and Kamal’s potent tones, it all resulting in a track which easily splattered the spot.

Hate Today, Despise Tomorrow launches on another great rhythmic incitement from Groulx, his tenacious and galvanic dynamics sparking similar exploits in the exploits of Gidley and Kamal as the song expanded its infectious character and enterprise. With a Skids like tinge to its hooks and real individuality to the craft of the guitars, the song takes favourite track honours though it is soon seriously harassed for the title by the just as outstanding Animated Realities. With a punk-esque strain to its hooks and manic edge to its unpredictable nature, the song simply stirred the passions and a greed for more.

Infrared’s cover of Maiden’s Wrathchild is a sure and enjoyable proposition which fans of the latter will embrace with ease but against the prowess of the previous four songs just did not light the fires here. Even so it makes an alluring end to a great EP.

We admit Back To The Warehouse is our introduction to Infrared and we cannot help feeling that we have seriously missed out if the EP’s songs are the last of their arsenal deserving release.  As for the next Infrared album, it cannot come soon enough.

Back To The Warehouse is out now.

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Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Infrared – Saviours

Pic By Gord Weber

Recent times have seen a growing wealth of eighties bred metal bands rising from their assumed demise or slumber. Thrash metal especially seems to have that power of resurrection. Some of those bands are venturing into new areas, some simply continuing what they did best back in the day which lured potent attention, success and reputation. Infrared sits in the second camp, their love and hunger for classic thrash openly inspired by contemporarys like the Big 4 as well as the influence of Sabbath, Maiden and the likes. As old school thrash never dates or tires in our ears, a resourcefully woven and imaginatively delivered encounter of said genre has a welcoming place and the new album from the Canadians is that and more.

Hailing from Ottawa, Infrared grew from local legends to stirring real attention within the national metal scene. Their sound was and is rooted in 70s and early 80s metal, bands such as Accept, Scorpions, and Judas Priest alongside those already mentioned inspirations on the quartet. Their rise came to a halt as life took members down different paths until 2014 saw three of the original four reuniting; vocalist/guitarist Armin Kamal, guitarist Kirk Gidley, and drummer Alain Groulx coming together again. Original bassist Shawn Thompson had since relocated to Miami so Mike Forbes was brought in to complete the line-up. The foursome then released debut album No Peace which featured songs written all those years ago. Now successor Saviours brings eight brand new tracks to ears, songs which swiftly grabbed ours as themes of “demagogues, dictators, and religious leaders professing to be the saviours of the world but instead inflict the most brutal attacks on humanity imaginable” roared.

Saviours erupts into life with Project Karma its opening magnetic yet portentous lure, one becoming even predacious as it prowls the senses. A delicious groove spears it’s stalking, a swinging proposal aflame with sonic enterprise and rhythmic incitement. Its initial lengthy instrumental is irresistible and only accentuated once the warrior tones of Kamal backed by the band head the song’s even fuller assault. Familiar and fresh hues collude in its web, imagination blossoming across its fiery body as a tremendous start to Saviours is set.

That predatory air retains its presence within The Demagogue, the following song also a court of threat and contagion which almost swaggers around ears as the guitars spin their sonic threads and rhythms pounce. Like a fusion of bands like Testament and Slayer, it hits the spot; increasing its temptation as calmer climes are ventured and melodic intimation embraced. It’s subsequent rising heat and intensity brings it back to its original sonic inference before Saviour explores an even darker trespass of menace and seduction. As we suggested, Infrared is not set on reinventing the wheel of thrash metal or even their core sound but there is a bold lining of adventure and imagination which makes their music and especially this track stand out.

Through the melodic and melancholic elegance to tempestuous roar of The Fallen and the voracious charge of All In Favour the album just hit the spot. Across both tracks the vocals of Kamal added more incitement to an appetite already happily feasting on the individual prowess and enterprise of the band, Forbes’ bass especially dark liquor stirring our taste buds. They are all attributes just as persuasive within the predatory They Kill For Gods and Father of Lies with its intensive atmosphere over increasingly manic and ferocious entrapment around demonic character. The most adventurous of all the tracks it simply enthralled.

The album finishes off with Genocide Convention, a trash dervish of sound and aggression with spiralling sonic wires and senses blistering turbulence. Our favourite track it brings the thoroughly and increasingly enjoyable release to a mighty close.

Uniqueness might be a rarity compared to familiarity within Saviours but from an already established base it breeds fresh adventure and captivation. The album lit our pleasure from start to finish and Infrared is further proof that very good things can only get better with age.

Saviours is out now through iTunes and other stores as well as @ https://infraredmetal.bandcamp.com

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Pete RingMaster 27/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright