Infected Rain – Time (Napalm)

Wednesday, 31st January 2024
Rating: 9/10

Already reaching their sixth full-length album, Infected Rain have been doing nothing but continuing to further grow their cause within the metal scene. With their groovy, alternative/nu metal sound taking inspiration from across the genre spectrum it’s not hard to see why they’ve become such a buzzworthy act since getting the worldwide spotlight thrust upon them after 2019’s Endorphin. 2022’s Ecdysis continued their outward expansion of sound, and if Time has anything to say for itself, Infected Rain don’t intend to slow down their search to explore more creative musical outlets.

That said, there is something to be said for the core that makes up Infected Rain’s sound. The dynamic shifts between more pensive and atmospheric sections and their rumbling, steamroller grooves while Lena Scissorhands deftly switches between fierce roars and ethereal singing, sits as prominent as it ever has, seemingly only becoming stronger despite the loss of two long-standing members last year. Opener “Because I Let You” all but snarls from the onset, with heavy groove-laden riffs accompanied by trippy electronic elements atop Scissorhand’s screams, with the swerve coming in with a dip into almost hip-hop laden elements, which acts as a strong bridge between the rousing energy and a movement into more melancholic yet hooky melodies later in the track. “Dying Light” feels like one of the most defining songs on the album in that regard, playfully moving between more ground-shaking grooves, catchy electronic elements, and urgent melodic overtones to create a hooky mid-tempo monster.

Of course, the band doesn’t stay in one spot for too long, which the very melodic “Lighthouse” shooting up djenty riffs in a very memorable way while Scissorhands’ cleans all but float you off into space – swirling, but tempered by a few moments of ear-grabbing heaviness. Speaking of heavy, “Pandemonium” pulls in some almost synthwave-y electonics that color the song in neon, while the instrumentation gives it a visceral spark that is sure to move some bodies and heads, while “Unpredictable” sprawls between driving riffs, effective melodic hooks, and some endearing clean vocals into well, a few intriguing directions that leave the song up to it’s very name. If one song had to be picked (at the moment) as a spotlight though, it’s “Paura.” An extended, quiet opening with spoken word and slowly escalating electronics takes the gradual route into exotic, alluring riffs and melodies and hypnotic riffs. The way it tends to slither between these two extremes makes it an absolute treat for some pensive thought as the instrumental finale “A Second or a Thousand Years” elegantly concludes things.

Infected Rain continue to prove themselves as willing to explore non-traditional elements and atmosphere while still dishing out that punchy, esoteric groove that has solidified them as one of modern metal’s strongest acts. Time is a showcase of what they have done so far, with a fresh coat of new ideas added in to continue to bring them up to the next level. It’s a visceral, yet thought-provoking experience that will last with you after the music stops.

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