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Infringement - Alienism Award winner

by Kai Naiman at 13 January 2020, 5:25 PM

In the last decade the world has witnessed a surge in new Progressive Rock and Metal artists and bands, and amid such abundance come the Swedish fivefold project INFRINGEMENT. Formed in 2015, they have already racked up their debut record, "Transition", and recently introduced their sequel effort, "Alienism". Containing no more than four lengthy tracks, with the longest track, "Delirium", exceeding the 16-minute mark, "Alienism" is clearly not an album for the impatient.

Upon the unfolding of the first track in this omnibus, the general setting scowls onto the listeners: a melodic acoustic guitar containing open notes features an eerie, horror-inducing chime bell melody. This repetition lasts for a good 45-second period, until joined in by bass. At that point, the atmosphere becomes even more menacing - as the chimes slowly distort and an orchestra with choirs take front. Eventually adding the important Progressive element are the distortion guitars and drums, creating an uneven, warlike sensation in odd tempo. 92 seconds in, the building-up dark atmosphere disperses and after a short moment, the listeners get to experience a flashback to the genre's recent frontiers, OPETH. Vocalist Hans Andreas Brandal, who has a tonality mixture familiar to the likes of FREAK KITCHEN's Mattias Eklundh and the infamous Warrel Dane, wakes up from his slumber and leads the band forward.

Granted, Brandal's vocals aren't bad per-se, however, slowly with the progression of the record, it becomes inevitable to notice how the music, while accompanied by Brandal's lines, seems uninspired, and when the instrumentals are unescorted, it turns miraculous. The only qualm I've had with that statement can be found at second track, "Triad", which I dare to mention as appropriately the best track of "Alienism". This track leaves both the fans and remaining tracks in awe, as it is where INFRINGEMENT fluctuate between showing pure Progressive ingenuity and being just as heavy and wild as such acts as RIVERSIDE, HAKEN and others. From the melodic and gripping entrée, through the powerful Rhodes-driven middle section madness and to the deranged theatrical apex, this track is an absolute masterous unit.

INFRINGEMENT being musicians from the highest tier makes it is almost criminal that their talent goes under the radar. Their second installation, "Alienism" is a harbor of clever and quirky compositional ideas and abilities in a sea of wicked and sheer insanity. I wholeheartedly look forward to hearing what they will come up with on their next escapade.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Disorder
2. Triad
3. Therapy
4. Delirium
Hans Andreas Brandal - Vocals
Stig André Clason - Guitars, Vocals
Kristoffer Utby - Drums
Bård Thorstensen - Keyboards
Espen Larsen - Bass 
Record Label: Crime Records


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Edited 28 February 2020

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