INFIRMUM - “Walls of Sorrow”

By Dark Starr

I probably shouldn't like this album. I mean, one of my pet peeves of a disc is when everything is of the rocking, heavy variety, without any mellow music to provide contrast. Add in the fact that I generally don't like growled vocals. The thing is, I really like this set a lot. In fairness, that first contrast issue is probably solved by the fact that while everything is loud and heavy, there is a good range in terms of tempo. The vocals are easier to understand than a lot of growling is. Those vocals also seem to work better with the music to create a unified tapestry than they do on a lot of other releases. No matter the reason, though, this is classy stuff.

A killer metal droning starts the proceedings as "To Darkness" gets underway. They modulate that as they intensify it. It fires out from there gradually. There is a real old-school metal edge to this as it grinds forward. The vocals are closer to extreme metal. They are pretty far down in the mix, though. They come up on the chorus bringing it more into a black metal zone.

Musically "Cause Of Sorrow" feels a bit more like stoner metal. It's slower and more plodding. The vocals are again of the growled variety, bringing a different angle to the track. This is heavy in a very tasty way. This has some cool riffs and is just such a strong number. Next comes "Shadows Of The Past," and the combination of growled vocals with the droned instrumental texture creates an intriguing kind of vibe. This is at once hypnotic and artistic, while still being heavy and decidedly metal. There are definitely comparisons to be made to shoegaze here. As strong as the last one was, I think I like this even more.

Heavy, rather plodding and so classy, "Silence" isn't a huge change from the previous cut, but it's also not a carbon copy. It's another stunning winner, largely elevated by some of the cool guitar riffing. A bit more energetic, "Doomed" has some pretty fierce vocals. It also has some particularly classy guitar fills at times. It is heavy, fiery and so strong. They ramp up the intensity even more on "Wake Me." I absolutely love the riffing on the song. The vocals almost feel like another instrument on this song. The chorus is one of the most accessible of the whole disc. In fact, this is one of my favorites here.

"Autumn Breeze: is next on the track list, and there is a dramatic sense of heavy majesty to this slower moving piece. It drives through with a lot of class. Then it shifts out to the fastest music of the whole disc with a driving, pounding piece of intensity. There is almost a mainstream rock vibe to "Sail Away," but it's decidedly heavier than that would suggest. The vocals also bring the metal to bear.

Coming in tentatively, "Fearless" works out to a particularly dramatic grind. This gets heavier and meaner than anything else here, but also has an almost symphonic bombast to it. A bass arrangement brings "Trust" into being. As the cut powers out it seems to combine an almost prog rock element with a really heavy texture. The cut shifts to a thrashy, early METALLICA like riff to head into the song proper. When the vocals join the leaning changes again.