American Thrash Metal band INFINITY was founded in October 2016 and released their debut album […]
By Santiago Puyol
July 30, 2019
Infinity - Awakening album cover

American Thrash Metal band INFINITY was founded in October 2016 and released their debut album "The Beginning of the End" in 2017. "Awakening" follows, bringing eight new songs, with a sound strongly anchored in the golden age of the genre: the eighties. Based on the sound of bands like early METALLICA, MEGADETH or ANTHRAX and injecting some Hardcore inspired elements, INFINITY delivers an album with solid, if derivative, writing.

Much of the first three tracks emphasize a purely traditional thrash-y sound, and one of the issues with the album is exactly that. The title track is a perfect example of the most derivative of "Awakening", with its riffs that exude eighties METALLICA and a vocal melody and phrasing that seems extremely typical of James Hetfield. "Pressurize" does little more than move to breakneck speed, while opener "Set Me Free" turns out to be the most remarkable of the three with its interplay between punkish cleans and harsh vocals. "Set Me Free" could be a good example of a song that takes perhaps a bit too much of the traditional sound but still indulges in building something new. That is when the biggest drawback of "Awakening" becomes apparent: appalling and uneven production.

With the exception of "Nothing to Lose" and closer "Slide", the rest of the album is produced in such a noisy and overly compressed way that makes it hard to appreciate. Clipping and crackling is extremely audible at several points, and the sound seems to break, something very noticeable in the refrain of "Set Me Free". Considering how good their first album sounded in comparison makes the choices here even more baffling. At least songwriting increases the quality considerably between "Calling My Name" and "Lost". The former takes the vocal interplay idea from "Set Me Free" but executes it better, with an interesting call and response game. Punk-y vocal harmonies in the chorus add another interesting texture, all over complex rhythmic patterns that vaguely evoke MEGADETH on "Rust in Peace".

"Nothing to Lose" incorporates sounds closer to ANTHRAX at times, while the decision to insert spoken word fragments is quite inspired. Screamed vocals highlight the Hardcore influences strongly here and Bobby Jeffers allows himself to emphasize the intensity with some blast beats. "Terminal" is the ballad of the album, with METALLICA classics "Fade to Black" or "One" as a blueprint, slowly building to an explosive climax. Some Alternative Rock influences sneak into "Lost", incorporating beautiful clean guitar melodies that serve as a luminous contrast against the dark, heavy sections. In addition, subtle vocal harmonies are also present, contributing to the complex emotional density of the song. It would have been a powerful and outstanding closer, with an epic, deep growl around the three-minute mark and raw, emotional singing.

It is because of these elements presented on "Lost" that, despite being a fun track, "Slide" feels more like the musical equivalent of a "post-credits scene" than an actual closer, adding little to "Awakening" as it ends. I have no doubt INFINITY is a technically capable band, much less that there is potential to develop songs with at least correct writing, but the production in "Awakening" really plays against them. The mixing is also erratic. For example, songs in which the bass is quite prominent and others in which it "disappears" suddenly. Some of Ricky Sobel's excellent guitar solos also become difficult to hear buried under other instruments.

INFINITY seem to still be looking for their own identity in "Awakening". They make some mistakes in the field of production, but they have potential to go further. They just have to correct wrong steps and keep on finding their voice.

5 / 10









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"Awakening" Track-listing:

1. Set Me Free
2. Awakening
3. Pressurize
4. Calling My Name
5. Nothing to Lose
6. Terminal
7. Lost
8. Slide

Infinity Lineup:

Ryan Howie - Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Ricky Sobel - Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
Ben Mascioli - Bass & Vocals
Bobby Jeffers - Drums

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