Infrared – Saviours (Self-Released)Wednesday, 16th May 2018
What’s that saying…if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again? So many bands from the underground during the 1980’s and 90’s got lost in the shuffle, broke up, and then make a second go at things a decade or more down the line. Infrared originally hit the scene from 1985-1990, issuing one demo in 1988 before breaking up. Active in this new incarnation since 2014, three of the four members are back again (only bassist Mike Forbes the relative newbie) making up for lost time as Saviours is the band’s second full-length and follow up to 2016’s No Peace. Instead of resting on past laurels for songwriting, these eight songs are brand new – meshing together influences from thrash as well as 70’s/80’s traditional metal and hard rock acts to develop something very much rooted in older musical aesthetics.
It’s obvious the Big Four of thrash become an integral part of the vocal attack and guitar riff mechanics of songs like “They Kill for Gods” and opener “Project Karma” – Metallica and Megadeth especially in the arsenal of tricks axemen Kirk Gidley and Armin Kamal employ. At the same time, the slower/bluesy passages and thoughtful restraint that takes shape during “The Fallen” rears back to Black Sabbath or early The Scorpions when those bands understood that the dynamics between quiet to heavy transitions make ears perk up – not to mention Armin’s similarity to Alice Cooper in the verses vocally. Because the instrumental sections tend to be a little more progressive and evolve, it’s not surprising that the average composition tips the six-minute plus mark – but when you have the catchy crunch throughout “The Demagogue” or memorable lead play during “All in Favour”, it never leads to tedious excess.
As much as this scribe would love to recommend Saviours though, it’s mired in tried and true principles, gang vocal clichés, basic drum patterns, and songs that may have occasionally exciting parts, but fail to elevate themselves to the level of the pioneers they wish to appease. When I need my Canadian thrash fix, Sacrifice and Razor quench that thirst – Infrared instead leaving things quite parched for this writer’s tastes.