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Ad Vitam Infernal — Infernal Comedy Award winner

Ad Vitam Infernal
Infernal Comedy
by Aurora Kuczek at 30 March 2020, 8:12 AM

Through ceremonious light comes forth the death metal band, AD VITAM INFERNAL, which means “to a life of hell.” The project, similar to IMMOLATION or MORBID ANGEL, originates in France in the year 2017. Their recent 2020, full-length, album entitled “Infernal Comedy,” is quite harmonious for the evil it may present in its breaths. Taking on a religious-like healing, the album calls to dark gods to lessen the gap between their project and earth itself. Looking at the lyrical presentation of the project, it seems as if the project gains inspiration from Alighieri Dante’s Inferno (1320), which is a part of his long narrative poem entitled Divine Comedy. Inferno tells the tale of Dante traveling through the nine realms of hell, with the hand of Virgil, to finally meeting Lucifer in which they escape Hell by climbing up Lucifer’s back, up through a mountain. The classic tale evokes many meanings of sin, spirituality, and morality to say the least. This context is important to the band as their exquisite musical abilities and writership are played on the comedy.

Ad Vitam Infernal,” the first track of the album, draws the curtain with ascending, expeditive swiftness that is portrayed until the final scene. In a royal-ness unkeen to the naked eye, there exists such wrongness of suffering throughout the words spoken in growls. Names of rivers which form a lake in the ninth circle of Hell are mentioned, forming an iced crystal of cloudy waters and harsh noise. “Abject,” spoken by an unknown man, features a classic opening of death metal, combined with longer notes spiraling past like the wind. The track stops in rhythms for the sake of pause, and there is talk of a young voice for a small portion of the song. The piece sounds as if there was a conversation between the music as it climbs up and down a disappearing staircase. “Hell Hunger,” is told through the eyes of Lucifer, starting brutally and off-centered. Melodic riffs with chanting hearts, hails to a higher authority of something created in a under-the-earth fashion, bridging the gap between Hell and human life on a green world. The nine realms are mentioned throughout the piece, in a pain that no one can quite physically imagine.

The majesty is carried over to “God Shall Not Take Your Hand,” where a frightful conversation is held between Torquemada and demons, where the notion of God is pushed further out the frame as Lucifer makes his appearance. Harsh, whispery, voices resounds in pleasantry. A shimmering of repetition makes the noise hidden beneath it, suppressing the notes trying to bubble up to the surface. It is a catchier melody of remembrance. “No Sides,” features an angel discussing the situation of the setting. Ritualistic and peaceful, the voice constructs the piece. A dissonance is heard, and the drum’s pattern diverges from the previous parts of the release. The ending is atmospheric and not as harsh as the previous. “To Cross the Rivers,” told through a demon’s eye, is a question posed for a deeper consideration.

The drums guide the melody, and through ascending spirals, a grand entrance is made for those who wonder. Told in a ghoulish lullaby, the track features a ceremonial sigh, a cymbal reverberance, and a spiritual awakening. In “Rise! Our Souls…” a man in the realm of violence tells the abstract stories, and calls to the living and to the dead. A strange childlike pattern repeats, the music seems to spin as the drums play chaotically. The final track off the album, “Insane Prayer,” draws Dante towards the grip of Lucifer. Ritualistic talking, and a repetition of an aesthetic melodic creation makes the album ends with allure. The song begins and fades with a dissonance only compared to BOLT THROWER’s style of bass harmonizing.

AD VITAM INFERNAL’s, “Infernal Comedy,” is an embodiment of Dante’s work of dark art, incorporating elemental ideas from the literature throughout the whole of the musical masterpiece. As the time went through the album, each song became increasingly well-versed. Staying true to a traditional death metal style, I had wished the album took greater leaps with the sounds rather than sticking with the basics. Nevertheless, the album is worthy of a great listen, and remembrance.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Ad Vitam Infernal
2. Abject
3. Hell Hunger
4. God Shall Not Take Your Hand
5. No Sides
6. To Cross the Rivers
7. Rise! Our Souls…
8. Insane Prayer
Jérôme Mahé—Guitars, Bass, Drums Programming
Samuel Girard—Vocals, Drums Programming
Record Label: Lavadome Productions


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Edited 05 October 2022

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