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Infantry - Terminal Society

Terminal Society
by SJ Loschi at 25 November 2022, 4:14 AM

Like the name implies, INFANTRY’s second full-length album “Terminal Society” is a menacing, no nonsense slab of death-influenced thrash metal. If KREATOR are the sharp-toothed incisors of a bengal tiger sneaking upon unsuspecting prey in the night, INFANTRY is that same tiger as super-soldier: each muscle filled to bursting, every cell swollen with the enzymes of army-grade steroids. This is pure, pummeling, full-force metal- a band that’s clearly been playing together for a while and one that knows exactly what message it wants to convey. If the world’s not on the edge of self-destruction, it’s clearly in the middle of it.  And INFANTRY is here to provide the soundtrack.

The template to the INFANTRY invasion is laid out in opener “Disposer of Immortality.” Guitarists Arjen Kleiss and Luuk Steemers begin the song with a twin-lead harmony that segways into a low-end groove that lays down a classic SLAYER-inspired thrash foundation for Ronald van Baren’s guttural, death-inspired vocals. All the while drummer Glenn Veldman and bassist Andrea Serra are locked into an air-tight death march. Throughout the album, Veldman and Serra really hold these songs together. The bass, in particular, is beautifully mixed: the high-ends pulsate and don’t get lost in the mix, and it remains impossibly heavy. The production on this album is top-notch throughout. If the seemingly infinite community of death influenced thrash bands make up an army of heavy metal warriors, clearly the five members of INFANTRY are vying to make it into the elite Special Forces of rock and roll maniacs.

Third song “Destination: Wonderland” is an album highlight.  It’s a tight 4:15 minute clinic in death-inspired thrash metal, featuring the high-pitched shrieks of fellow Dutch singer Miranda Visser, a guest credited on the album. The song rolls like a tribute to SLAYER with a quick two-note sway that builds to some sick tandem vocals between Visser and van Baren. Fourth song “Under Destruction'' features some fist-pumping repetitions of the song’s title and a tremendous bridge that plows through trenches of twin guitar carnage before pummeling down for the attack. “We are under destruction!” bellows van Baren. “A symphony of death!”  It’s the sound of a million soldiers moving forward on an unseen, unknown enemy, each human just other notes in INFANTRY’s brutality: death is inevitable. We are all under destruction. Submit or die.

“Coup d’Etat” finds the band paying homage to the thrash metal legends of yore, with a dope tremolo-picked chorus that finds guitarists Kleiss and Steemers finger-tapping their way to a bloody victory, with or without the current government’s permission.  And INFANTRY isn’t asking for anyone’s permission: while the music is steeped in the violence of the jingoistic military machine, even INFANTRY knows that no one comes out victorious in war, even if you think you do. “Hail to the Victorious,” the penultimate song, knows this.  No victory is permanent, and while you may hail to the victorious, you are ultimately screaming into an empty, soulless, blood-filled void. Nonetheless, if you are going down, do it with your fists held high.

“Terminal Society” is, in the end, about pumping those fists in the air, whether those fists be in the sweaty black box of an Amsterdam bar or the blood-soaked ground of the battlefield. In the end, the ones who are the most victorious here are the five members of the band, who have written and produced a collection of really solid, powerful songs for 2022. War may be inevitable, a part of being human- and while there’s no piecing back together the severed body parts and guts of an army blown to bits, at least we’ve got INFANTRY to play us in as we’re going down.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Disposer of Immortality
2. Submission
3. Destination: Wonderland
4. Under Destruction
5. Inner Warfare
6. Coup D’Etat
7. Hail the Victorious
8. Terminal Society
Arjen Kleiss - Lead Guitar
Luuk Steemers - Rhythm Guitar
Ronald van Baren- Vocals
Andrea Serra- Bass
Glenn Veldman- Drums
Record Label: Independent


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