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ALBUM REVIEW: Infected Rain - TIME
Heavy metal act Infected Rain have released their brand new sixth album TIME on Napalm Records. With the band's follow up to 2022' Ecdysis, this Moldovan band has set themselves apart from other heavy metal and modern metal acts with adding elements of synthwave, EDM and nu-metal to their groove metal sound. Along with their lead scream queen Lena Scissorhands delivering an amazing range of angelic, sultry and harmonious clean vocals to banshee shrieks, all in one song and matching that intensity live. Was the time right to release TIME? Does this top the success and popularity of Ecdysis? It does, and it crushes it!
The album opens with "BECAUSE I LEFT YOU". With vocalist Lena Scissorhands' piercing screams over the chugging down tuned guitars of Vidick. The clean vocal section showcases her eerie delivery before transitioning back to her guttural, high screams. Then the tempo drops into a dramatic and heartfelt clean vocal delivery by Scissorhands. With synth effects creating atmosphere, accenting her mournful delivery, before returning to the ear-piercing screams. Shocking the listener, before the clean vocals return amidst the screams popping in-between clean singing sections. Her vocal performance is really good on the track and you see the emotional performance overcoming her at the end of the music video for the song.
"DYING LIGHT" opens with a heavy, djent sounding guitar riff with a drum machine-like sound behind it. Adding a grimy nu-metal like opening to the track, before the main riff kicks in with synth effects behind it. The double bass of Eugene Voluta punch through the mix really good, adding that pulsing drive to the riff behind it. I love the harmonies on the opening vocals before the screams begin. Scissorhands' vocals are mixed perfectly. Then the breakdown kicks in with bassist Alice Lane and Vidick pummeling the ears with the chugs before the clean vocal break. I love the drum machine effect on the track, mixed with the synth effects and the groove/nu metal sound the band delivers, almost creating a new hybrid or variation of nu-metal for the modern age. Scissorhands' clean vocals at the halfway mark on the bridge, with the pulsing rhythm effect behind her adds dimension and unique musical mixing to the song before going into the chorus.
On "NEVER TO RETURN" the trippy electronic overlay breaks up the heaviness to go with a more atmospheric and complex opening. Giving a chance for Scissorhands' to deliver an angelic, almost sultry vocal delivery in the opening. Then her screams kick in with a vengeance before returning back to the hypnotic, trance like opening. The musical instrumentation is interesting on the track, amidst the djent sounding guitars, you almost have an acoustic, folk like element in certain parts, which adds a different trait to the song. The double bass at the three quarters mark behind the clean high vocal performance punches through the mix, along with the acoustic elements. Before Scissorhands and company bring the song one last heavy section. Ending the song on the same trippy, trance like opening to close the song out.
"LIGHTHOUSE" opens with robotic dialogue and strings behind it, before Scissorhands' clean harmonies kick the song off. The riff on the verses has such a great hook, and not dominating in the mix, letting Scissorhands showcase her range on the track. The song has a sorrowful ballad like feel in the vocals, which is a nice change of pace, before the gritty down-tuned riff kicks in and her screams come back with ferocity and snarl. Her vocal performance on the song is the strongest so far on the record. The dynamic vocal hopping from high pitched, ear-piercing screams to somber, angelic cleans is so hard to do in metal and she has one of the strongest voices among other singers like Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox or Tatiana Shmayluk of Jinjer. I love this song alot and her clean vocal performance. Reminding me of Scissorhands' side project Death Dealer Union, which is also worth checking out.
"THE ANSWER IS YOU" has an aggressive opening from the band. Driving double bass and demanding rhythm section kicks the song off with a heavy punch to the gut. The chugging rhythm, transitioning back into a hip-hop, grungy infused section adds an unsettling feel to the track before returning back to the main riff and chorus. Vocals have more grit and snarl in the delivery, adding almost more visceral anger to the performance. The riff has a great bounce and energy to the track, which I can picture the pit going crazy for the band when performed live. I love the synth effects near the three quarters mark of the song, again adding more uniqueness to the track and breaking them apart from other modern metal acts.
"VIVARIUM" opens with Scissorhands' quiet, somber and sultry vocals as the rhythm section of Lane and Vidick set the pace of the track. The verses' riff has that Meshuggah, djenty sound to it, but with the addition of the synths. The song, for me, creates that slow head bang feel and stank face as the breakdown section kicks in. With Scissorhands' banshee like shrieks during it just sounds so good. I love the song's energy and feeling in the band's performance. Giving off the feeling that the band had fun writing and recording this track. "PANDEMONIUM" opens with double bass and an almost "swinging" guitar playing style to the track before an 80's sounding synth starts the verses. The song has the band's trademark snarl and grit on the verses, although when you get to the chorus, it does channel that 80's nostalgic feel with the synths and Scissorhands' clean vocals. The breakdown at the halfway mark stops the track to a demanding and pounding crawl. With hanging guitars, double bass and vocal shrieking, the breakdown hits hard before the pace begins to pick back up heading into the bridge.
On "ENMITY", the pace picks up right off the bat with the strong opening riff and double bass by Voluta. The song has such demanding force in the vocals, with the heavy down-tuned riff throughout the song. Especially in the palm-muted section at the quarter mark. The song has a definite bravado to the track with the vocals and energy. Making it a great song to add to a workout playlist. Vidick & Lane are just riff machines throughout this record so far, almost at the same level of Dino Cazares of Fear Factory. With the heavy, building drums after the halfway mark and pulsing electronic hits, the song gives the listener some reprieve, before Scissorhands' anthemic and harmonious clean vocals come in. Easing the listener as you get the feeling the song is building and going to come back strong, which comes back on the bridge with her cleans and the main chugging riff coming in with some vigor.
"UNPREDICTABLE" has Scissorhands being all over the place with her vocals. The opening, featuring a demented, almost horror movie like vocal delivery, then her cleans, into her shrieking screams, showing her vocal performance in an almost theatrical range. The drums by Voluta are more forward in the mix, adding more aggression and drive into the song, behind the rhythm section of Vidick & Lane adding more fuel to the track's fire. The band is so good at adding unique elements from hip-hop, electronic elements like 80's synth and at the three quarters mark, almost a Björk-esque sound and vocal performance, before returning to the main riff and heaviness of the track. I love a band that could be complex and not afraid to add new elements or amp up what they were doing to 11 and break the knob off.
"GAME OF BLAME" opens with ringing keyboard synths, soaked in reverb and delay to give off that synthwave/retrowave sound of the 80's. Immediately, you get the energy of an 80's power ballad, but with modern production on the verses. The song mutates into the band's trademark sound, with ringing synths behind it on the chorus. Screaming vocals show up after the quarter mark of the track for a short burst, before Scissorhands' clean vocals come in. Even an 80's electronic drum kit fill shows up during her section, and I love that since I'm a sucker for anything 80's. I love the song personally since it shows the band's musicianship and musical choices, as well as Scissorhands letting her clean vocals lead more than her screams. Then out of nowhere, we get the chugging, heavy breakdown with growls coming front and center. Before returning to the catchy hook of the chorus one last time, before ending with the same opening piano piece.
The opening of "PAURA" has a weird, pulsing, almost breathing like feel with the effects on the track. The song is very minimal with a simple drum beat opening with Scissorhands giving spoken word vocals as drums begin to rise behind her. The song comes in hard with ringing down-tuned guitars and Scissorhands' clean vocals rising high in the mix. Another great, but short heavy breakdown at the halfway mark, which the band amps up with lead guitars during it to add some variety to the normal breakdown the listener has heard so far on the album. The album closes with "A SECOND OR A THOUSAND YEARS", an instrumental piece. Opening very quiet, the song is very minimal and eases the listener to relaxation as the album officially closes.
With their new record, Infected Rain have stepped up their game and sound from their previous record. Pushing more influence of other genres and elements into this record show's the band's evolution. Scissorhands delivers a strong performance, showcasing she is an impressive voice in the metal world. To me, this is my favorite record from the band, and I can't wait to hear some of these songs performed live and see how the crowd reacts to them live. This band is starting to shine and rise in the last couple years and with this record, and the band's performance, they will be a band to watch and see where they go with their sound and how big they will grow.
SCORE: 9.5 / 10
1) BECAUSE I LEFT YOU
2) DYING LIGHT
3) NEVER TO RETURN
5) THE ANSWER IS YOU
10) GAME OF BLAME
12) A SECOND OR A THOUSAND YEARS
FFO: Jinjer, In This Moment, Butcher Babies
After their appearance on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, the band will begin a European tour as support for Dragonforce and Amaranthe. If you want to get tickets and see them live, check out https://www.infectedrain.com/tours/