Ad Infinitum – Chapter II: Legacy (Napalm)Wednesday, 20th October 2021
Given what COVID has done to touring, it’s no surprise that some newer acts are wasting no time in delivering a new album – even when they haven’t been able to properly tour for their debut efforts. Symphonic metal act Ad Infinitum struck some solid gold last year with their debut, Chapter I: Monarchy, due to it’s ability to pull in what symphonic fans look for in an album, but to also succeed in going beyond those expectations and tossing in a generous helping of diversity. Legacy manages to not only one-up its predecessor in every way, but serves as one of the strongest releases of this particular genre you will find in 2021.
Some high praise to start, but it doesn’t take much as you begin to go through Legacy to see where that praise is earned. As mentioned, Ad Infinitum opened things with the debut in being able to subvert expectations (like the sinister ballad “See You in Hell”), and provide a heavy as nails approach to symphonic glory. Legacy keeps that heavy approach at the forefront, but the astonishing thing this time is how consistently jaw-dropping (and occasionally upbeat) the melodies are while contrasting it with a more melodeath urgency. “Into the Night” flourishes with its uptempo and driving rhythms – not unlike something you’d hear from a Soilwork or a Scar Symmetry, but the scorching melodies hit in the same level of addictiveness that you’d expect from a poppier approach like an act like Amaranthe. Vocalist Melissa Bonny is a major force in some of this, with vocals ranging from a siren to a demon, but the riffs themselves are able to pack a hook-filled punch at the same time. The triumphant and grooving “Haunted” is likely to ensnare you in its mid-tempo melodies and sheer weight, with Bonny’s singing being the cherry on top as the symphonic elements and riffs soar. Opener “Reinvented” works well in this regard too, showcasing the band’s tweaked assets at the onset, merging insidiously hooky bits into melodeath energy and symphonic bombast. Once the record digs in with those hooks, it’s truly hard to put the album down as the sweeping cinematics and musicianship show off even more with return listens.
Chapter II: Legacy is a potent offering at the end of 2021. There’s not too many in the symphonic field that can manage to combine such gorgeous melodies with a blistering metallic backbone without sacrificing one or the other in some way. Ad Infinitum have solidified themselves as an emerging force capable of both stunning beauty as well as thrilling sonic landscapes.