Insignium – Infamie und Urgewalt – Wenn Altes sich erhebt (Apostasy Records)Tuesday, 14th August 2018
Out the gate I suppose an administrative note is in order: Infamie und Urgewalt – Wenn Altes sich erhebt is a mouthful and hereafter shall be referred to as Infamie. That being said, if no-frills black metal from the Rhineland is what you’re itching for (and I suppose, we all do from time to time), Insignium has provided amply for your consumption. Just don’t expect to remember much of the tornado after it has passed.
Insignium starts off with lightning, no sub-minute ‘intro’ to give a false hope to what is to come, “Nach dem Krieg” is a statement of purpose as much as it is an opening salvo: a melodic core rising and falling above a relentless pulse. Follow up track “Den Mahren zum Frasse” is a bit more varied but the impact is very similar. The name of the game here is something akin to combat on horseback, perpetually in motion.
Occasional moments of black’n’roll essence pop up, notably on “Das Ietzte Geleit” and closer “Zu schwarzer Flamme” (and if you hadn’t noticed, like many German black metal bands, everything here is all German, all the time). There is a particular pre-2010 zest to the proceedings at hand and given this is the band’s first release since 2005, some of these may have been cooking for a very long time.
There are passages of joy throughout Infamie, notably throughout the previously mentioned closer. Unfortunately they’re sandwiched in between a kind of sterile cacophony: most of of Infamie’s 42 minutes tends to bleed together. Not a terrible time, but also one I’m not likely to return to with any regularity. This is basic black metal for those that like basic black metal.