Ad Infinitum – Chapter 1 Revisited (Napalm)

Friday, 18th December 2020
Rating: 8.5/10

With COVID-19 and quarantine demolishing the live scene for musicians, we are seeing more bands get creative as to how they are staying active in the community. Live streams and the such are becoming more commonplace, and while acoustic albums are not a new thing, Ad Infinitum have chosen to take their debut album and give it the acoustic treatment from start to finish. A bold move, but one that they have executed brilliantly.

The problem with acoustic albums is that they can drain the energy and power of what made them work to begin with. Chapter 1 had both moments of elegance and beauty alongside some powerful and heavy moments, so to remove half of what made it work is a bit risky. But its abundantly clear that the band was all in on making this concept work, and Revisited is a treat to listen to in its own right. Using variety to their advantage, this acoustic take feels more worldly, from flamenco-sounding elements to more oriental/eastern vibes and more infiltrating the songs to give them a fresh spin. Even the heavier songs, such as “Marching on Versailles” still manage to capture some potent energy even with a more mellow feeling to them and it works. Tribal-esque drumming elements and even a few roars from vocalist Melissa Bonny keep that energy present in “Maleficent.” In short, these things also keep the album from feeling too similar. The essence of these tracks is still present, and makes them just as standout as in their original forms. The triumphant “Live Before You Die” is just as lively in this setting, and closer “Tell Me Why” sounds even more dreamy in this even more gentle form.

An example that goes to show that if you have strong songs, they work regardless of the medium you perform them in, Chapter 1 Revisited should wow fans of Ad Infinitum’s debut from earlier in 2020. There’s lots of creativity here without jettisoning the original feel of the songs, and bodes well for Ad Infinitum as they continue onward into album number two.

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