Infestus – The Reflecting Void (Debemur Morti Productions)

Sunday, 20th April 2014
Rating: 8/10

The one-man black metal setup is different strokes for different folks, apparently. While the notion generally predicates a four-track and endless buzz, there are exceptions of course, one of them being Germany’s Infestus, the product of lone wolf Andras. Up until this point, the band’s career has been mainly on the straight; their 2011 Ex I Ist had some generally enjoyable dark flourishes, with the rest staying in the general realm of dark and somewhat uncomfortable BM to the tune of high-quality production and aesthetics. The Reflecting Void – enjoying a similar production job – is a step up in the most important department: songwriting.

Spanning eight cuts at 54 minutes, The Reflecting Void leaves a trail of mutated dynamics, where the familiar course of extreme metal black metal is tempered with the joys (or sorrow) of atmosphere. This is none more apparent on the excellent “Spiegel der Seele” and “Constant Soul Corrosion,” two numbers that prop-up Andras’s ability to create hummable, yet coarse riff segments and segues. Some of the more eerie portions on “Spiegel der Seele” are particularly haunting and memorable, where somber guitar lines become the focus while the desperate moan of Andras stays in control.

The back half of The Reflecting Void is where Infestus begin to let their ideas stretch, building upon complexity (“Inner Reflection”) and billows of avant-garde-ness (“Origin”). The end result is a listen that is equally adventurous as it is alluring, striking the capable balance between melodic impositions and the sinister, foreboding undertow of the black arts. What should easily be deemed as the band’s finest effort to date, The Reflecting Void sets Infestus up for further excursions of highly cerebral and fertile black metal. Smart stuff.

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