Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, May 27, 2011

Infesting Swarm

      This should mark the end of my hiatus from writing reviews for a while, and I'm glad to say that I'm picking things up again on a positive note with Infesting Swarm. To be honest, black metal isn't a genre I'm very familiar with, so, as always, I'd encourage our readers to just follow the link at the bottom of the review and check out the band. The review section of things is largely targeted to the band as feedback, and for us (at least me) to develop our writing abilities (my English teacher has remarked on how my writing is noticeably developing since Matt and I started this project), and as a way to get bands out there to anyone who is linked to / stumbles upon our blog.

     Infesting Swarm's style is centered around what, to my ears, is a more linear, straightforwards sound than your typical black metal / blackened death metal band. What they lack in sheer technicality and tempo, they make up for with a much more listen-able, relaxed sound that doesn't have the "wall of sound" characteristic to it. Beyond the overarching characteristics of their sound that applies to all five of the songs they've posted so far, Infesting Swarm sounds to take something from a host of different genres. More ominous, slow, riffs that might be described as "blackened doom metal" like in nature, several moments somewhat akin to a fusion of Behemoths later work and Immolation, and classic rock / heavy metal inspired solos and ambient passages.

     The only thing really holding Infesting Swarm back is a lukewarm job on the vocals and somewhat shoddy mixing. The vocals sound to be somewhat amateur-ish in nature about half of the time, particularly the lower growls which sound overly dry and a touch forced and frequently "crack". The higher growls however, maintain better consistency, better speed, better tone, and better definition and enunciation. The vocals general suffer from a seemingly poor job with the mixing of the songs, which leaves the vocals about 5 db too low in the mix (estimate). This relatively low volume prevents the vocals from sounding really authoritative or commanding, which might, IMO, make the songs sound much stronger.

     Despite a somewhat disappointing mixing job, Infesting Swarms eery, ambient, but nonetheless heavy sound forms a really solid set of songs. I personally haven't heard any other bands that have this exact same sound, so Infesting Swarm should be a fairly interesting, fresh listen for most people. Neither the guitars nor the bass are played with particular expertise, but the drums however, are very strong compared to many of the other bands I've heard. While I certainly wouldn't call them prodigies, Infesting Swarm has set out a good start to produce some really fantastic music in the future.


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