"Desolate Unknown"

By Dr. Abner Mality

There is very little black metal that excites me anymore, but Infera Bruo have really come up with a strong exception to that with "Desolate Unknown". And they're from America, to boot!

This is an impressive product in every way, right down to the incredibly eerie and dismal cover art. Even when Infera Bruo stumbles, they stumble because of their ambition, not lack of talent or skill. The production here is top notch  and sounds really big budget...not at all "necro" or primitive. As for the music, the band has a talent for weaving together a lot of facets from across the black metal spectrum into complex and memorable songs. I would say a quick pont of reference would be the last Nachtmystium album "The Silencing Machine", but Infera Bruo has a "cosmic" quality that Nachtmystium lacks.

The record starts with "Visions of the Inner Eye", which is a blast of fast, freezing and fairly traditional black metal that almost has a touch of technical death metal to the riffing. This one will really get the blood flowing and it's rare I hear a song in this genre which is traditional but interesting at the same time. "Oblivion" slows things down a bit and has more in the way of catchiness while still having that "frozen' sound of all good BM. This song really flows smoothly.

Then we get the first of two electronic noisescapes", cleverly called "Segue 1" and "Segue 2". Both are actually pretty interesting, they are not overlong and they bring to mind some of the experimentation of Nachtmystium. Throughout "Desolate Unknown", subtle sampling and keyboard work adds layers to the music without distracting from it. Then we get a monster of an epic BM track called "Ritual Within" which combines doomy moments, sparse acoustic and intense, progressive black metal. Many parts of this behemoth are quite impressive, but at 13 minutes plus, the gas ran out of this song around the 9 minute mark. It's just too long. That is not a problem with "Dust of Stars", which lasts more than 9 minutes, but throws some of the most amazingly technical black metal riffs I've heard in a long time in. This is one hell of a song! The album ends with another long epic, "Invoking Collapse", which is the bleakest and most depressive tune yet.

All in all, an outstanding black metal album which I can recommend to fans of old Dissection, Nachtmystium and Limbonic Art!