Friday, January 20, 2012
Bare Infinity - The Passage (EP) (2011)
Normally, this first paragraph is filled with comparisons and descriptions. In the case of Bare Infinity, I would fail to give you any sense of what this Greek band have done. Their new, and final, EP, "The Passage," defies labels. Released in August 2011, the five track contained here are unique in their own way, yet familiar all the same. I have a feeling that this one would have made it to my Top 10 list, if only I hadn't waited this long.
You are greeted by an explosion of sound so immense that it may shake you to your core. "Father Of Wrath" is a great example of the force that female fronted music can benefit from. The combination of heavy guitar riffs, deep, rich symphonics and crushing drum beats is the perfect vessel for vocalist Angel to add a touch of beauty to the mix. Her voice is tremendous, with a depth that so few metal vocalists, male or female, possess. When her angelic (no pun intended) tones meet the deathly growls, you are sure to be moved. Not to be outdone, the bass lines throughout are astonishing, moving up and down the neck with a marksmans accuracy. From the detail oriented verse sections to the pummeling chorus, there is a home for every aspect.
Taking things to another level entirely, "Everfade" sees an increase in the sheer brutality. No head will be left still, no fist will be left hanging at your side. There is something so devastatingly beautiful to be found here, all packed into a mere four and a half minutes. The use of keyboards and synthesizers ties each layer together, allowing them all to have an effect without pulling the track in any one direction. It takes all of the Gothic styled sounds of Nightwish or Within Temptation, and throws them head first into the fire. The growls alone would be enough, but adding the pitch perfect clean vocals puts things over the top. The title track sees a heavier use of keys and piano, carving out a more atmospheric background. To call this a ballad would be short sighted, but it fits the basic criteria, especially in the vocal harmonies. Angel's ability to sing from multiple ranges is stunning, especially in the "breakdown" portion, where she truly shines through it all in choir fashion. Darting keys and drums are locked together, distorted guitars thrashing through it all.
The longest track on the album is also the most ambitious. "Letalis Malevolentia," is Bare Infinity at their very best, heavy but melodic, powerful but delicate. Synthesizers provide the sound of blaring horns and keys, with a strong bass line flowing throughout. Angel takes a more operatic approach, bringing to mind the best that former Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen had to offer. But the coarse growls that offset her will not be denied. With thunderous roll after roll, the drums continue to mesmerize the most casual drum fan, while also providing the solid foundation that all good music grows from. The chugging breakdown is nothing short of amazing, going from slow to lightning fast and back again. Guitars, bass, drums and keys all forming a wall that would take a million man army to destroy. There is no fault to be found, no note out of place.
The final track of the album, "Awakening Moonlight," is one final stab at perfection. Not lost among all the heavy riffs and drums, the vocals reign supreme. It is truly uncanny how many layers are present here, without a single weak link to be found. This is a veritable buffet for any metal fan to feat upon. The dense, meaty riffs are omnipresent, whether through chugging or dynamic chord shifts. The often ignored art of the bass couldn't be better represented. The drumming isn't merely heavy, but also precisely timed and executed. The keys, the soul of the band, are airy at times, but also vibrant in their melodic touches. And the dessert, the sickeningly sweet yet richly filling vocals. Separately, these would all be admirable. Together, this finale is one worth repeating.
Let's call a spade a spade. Bare Infinity is an incredible band, and this EP, "The Passage," is a testament to their talents and dedication to their craft. Sadly, as I write this review, the band have announced that they will not be continuing on together. As each musician goes their own way, one can only hope that they all find a new home in another band. But, regardless of their future endeavors, we now have the blueprint for all that female fronted metal can and should be. Fans of metal, take heed. This disc deserves not only your time, but also your attention.
Official Site - http://www.bare-infinity.net/
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/bareinfinity