Review: Infrared – No Peace
Inframental – Opening with an airstrike, this opening track kicks things off right straight out of the gate. Chugging riffs, slamming drums, and a hypnotic lead guitar and bass line draw you in. Though an instrumental, the thrash character is front row and center, especially with a howling guitar solo late in the track.
T.O.C. – Picking up where ‘Inframental’ left off ‘T.O.C.’ kicks your ass hard with shredding lead guitars, tight riffing, technical drumming, prominent bass, and snarling vocals. Lyrically, fans of Slayer’s war tunes are going to find a lot to love. This is unsympathetic thrash metal with an “up yours attitude” and lethal doses of talent to back it all up. Honestly, it’s hard to decide what I love more about this tune; is it Armin Kamal’s lyrics and aggressive vocal approach, or the insane guitar solos?
No Peace– The title track of the album, ‘No Peace’ keeps this album running hot with heavier riffs and a strong rhythm section. Once more, the bass can be heard in the background like a hammer on an anvil, and Kamal’s vocals step it up a notch with some high section and deep growls. Overall, this song establishes a formula made up of chugging riffs, politically charged lyrics, aggressive vocals, a powerful rhythm section, and some seriously wicked lead guitar work – three songs in, this album is going strong.
My Good Will – Throwing a wrench of the gears of the established formula, ‘My Good Will’ comes out of the gate relentlessly heavy with strong rhythm. Kamal’s vocals shed their snarl for a high approach with plenty of high screeches and an ever-aggressive character. In comparison, the lyrics are more vicious than anything that has come before keeping this anger-driven record running hot as hell. And just when this song couldn’t get any better Infrared unleashes yet another face melting shred-fest of a guitar solo to keep you on your toes.
Social Science – Five tracks in and the album seems to have plateaued. By no means a bad song ‘Social Science’ begins to slow the album’s momentum with a slightly slower tempo and repetitive playing, but that all changes at about two minutes in. A punkish riff captures your attention and the drums kick up the speed until a brief breakdown a minute later. Essentially a musical roller coaster ride, ‘Social Science’ teeters between fresh and stale depending on the point of the song. The punk feel saves the day, however, and the guitar solo simply can’t be ignored. These guys are shred lords, no doubt.
Cliché – Short, sweet, and satisfying, ‘Cliché’ is a heavier hitter through and through. Featuring everything that makes Infrared great such strong riffing, wild solos, and howling vocals, this one takes the album in a whole new direction with a strong old school metal feel. The basswork is something to adore and the guitar solos, while shreddy, have a fantastic classic rock vibe.
Some Kind of Disease – Returning to the album’s formula of fast, aggressive thrash metal, ‘Some Kind of Disease’ is sure to be hailed by thrash metal purists the world over – It’s fast, it’s heavy, and god damn are the leads outstanding here! Honestly, this is Infrared at its very best. Everything hits just right and that guitar solo will have your head spinning, but so will the drums. As for the vocals, Kamal is at the top of his game and his lyrics are in a whole different league – rather than politics, he’s belting out about sexual conquest and the unwanted gifts that show up along the way.
Down Below – eight tracks in, we’re greeted with another thrashy tune. It’s not a bad tune, but it’s like all the rest so far. There’s not much to say other than it’s fast, heavy, and has a great solo. Honestly, it’s satisfying, but it sticks to the formula too much to be a real standout track.
Untimely Storm – Opening with a somber, melodic lick, some taps of the cymbals, and bluesy lead guitar we’re greeted with the album’s ballad, but then the solo begins to wail and the rhythm gets heavy. No, this isn’t a ballad, it just starts off that way. Honestly, though, a ballad would have been a good change of pace, for although this six and half minute monster is powerfully heavy tune, it sticks to the established formula quite well. Honestly, it’s one of the best songs on the album, but at this point, I’m starting to crave a break in the formula.
Thoughts Caught (In Between) – An education in riff mastery, this track stands out with some serious guitar skills. Unfortunately, like ‘Untimely Storm’ it’s over six minutes long and sticks hard to the Infrared formula. For thrash metal fans this is a good thing, but like I had said on the previous track, it would be nice to have a break in formula.
In Search of – Wait, an actual ballad? Well, sort of. ‘In Search of’ is about as easy going as Infrared is going to get and this album closer is a standout track. Opening with melodic picking and reserved drumming with tapping pianos behind it all, this track slowly builds up steam. In time, wailing solos, haunting synths, prominent bass, and somewhat reserved riffing take command. The roar of a crowd and the somewhat muffled voiceover, which is reminiscent of a leader leading his troops into battle, gives this track a distinct character, and the shredding solo alongside the synths is second to none, making for one of hell of a final track. In fact, this is the deviation from the formula that I’ve been waiting for and Infrared nailed it!
After sitting down and listening to Infrared’s ‘No Peace’ over a period of days it’s safe to say that this is a solid thrash metal album that will easily please genre purists. It’s an aggressive offering, but it doesn’t take too many risks, nor does it have to. This band is extremely talented and this album is well worth your money. 8.5/10