Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 3/8/2005
posted on 1/2005 By:
French black metallers Belef make their first entrance into the full-length realm with Infection Purification. With another steadfast release under their belt, Candlelight is rapidly becoming an even more reputable label, particularly for new black metal. With song titles like "Brutal Destruction", "I Need Enemies", and "Man Slayer", I anticipated the worst. What I got, however, was surprisingly worthwhile.
Fitting nicely alongside labelmates like Myrkskog and Zyklon, they remain predominantly faithful to the more modernized school of black metal as they charge through a near 56 minutes of strenuous drum-fills and attention-consuming riffage. Rarely slowing down, these enraged Frenchmen maintain to keep your attention through a series of violent build ups and welcome tempo changes, which, by the time they get there, you're craving. The intricately picked melodies thicken the line between death/black metal, whereas the argument could be made that the production and complex rhythms are what gives Infection Purification any strong attributes of death metal. I can't say enough about the vocals, which are garbled and ludicrously livid. Backed and synced up precisely with lower gutturals, Belef come about as close as you can to chanting after presumably eating glass for four hours before recording. The guitar has a really noisy and squawking tone (Behemoth, anyone?) that optimizes the band's renditions into something more than just a ho-hum strive towards grim ambience. One profound drawback of releasing an extreme metal album that approaches an hour is that everything just tends to run together. Not even the impressive racket that Belef churn out so freely can save them from that. Irritatingly enough, the best part of the album is sort of a hidden track. Located in the last two minutes of "Immortal Abomination", there's a short and devastating cyclone of intensity present that sounds like Anaal Nathrakh in their early years.
Through repeated listens, what felt like another unimaginative black/death metal release has actually turned into a high-quality black/death metal album. Truth be told, it's not the music that dreams (or nightmares, if you want to be all lame and metal about it) are made of, but it's got a lot of charm. No matter how tempting it may be due to the extended playing time, Infection Purification isn't an album to skip through hastily or just skim. There's more than enough to miss through the first spin, especially if you're like me and you find it near impossible to distinguish one song from another.
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