‘Black metal is intolerance!’ is the slogan the Dutch black metal band Infinity spreads with its fourth full length The Arcane Wisdom of Shadows. Well, whatever your visions are on the subject, I frankly don’t care because I’m all about the music, so please don’t expect any in-depth discussions about perspectives in this review.
The Arcane Wisdom of Shadows starts off with a sample of singing monks and church bells ringing; an atmosphere visualised by the album cover which displays a long hallway of what seems to be a monastic church. Not that I’m an expert when it comes to churches and the like, obviously.
Before you realise it, the monks are gone as if they never existed and 'From The Eternal Sea He Rises' manifests into your brain with its tight double bass and very subtle variations in drums. And since he rises from sea, it’s not a big surprise there is a small sample of the waves breaking accompanied by a very nice piece of acoustic guitar. Yes, I am a sucker for the acoustic. What I like best about this song is that the acoustic continues for a bit in its tranquil matter even though the electric guitar joins in with insane, hostile riffs. It’s as if the hope that is portrayed by the sound of the ocean and the acoustic guitar gets shattered into pieces when Infinity picks up the music where they left off before they were interrupted by the forces of nature.
If you don’t like Balgradon’s throat, too bad, because there’s not that much diversity in his screams. But I wouldn’t say that it is truly necessary; there’s already so much deviation in the riffs and the drum works that if you are bothered by the vocals you are probably a hair-splitter (now don’t get all worried about your hair; it’s just an expression). Anyway, the production is of a worthy quality, which makes the album even easier to like. For the Dissection lovers: 'Night's Blood' is covered on the album.
I can more or less understand when people state that The Arcane Wisdom of Shadows lacks originality, but on the other hand Infinity does put its stamp upon the album because of their professionalism. Judging the effort that has been made for producing this album, I can only conclude this album certainly wasn’t born over night!
2. From the Eternal Sea he Rises
3. Our Merciless Rage
4. The Rise of Azazel
5. The Legacy of the Ancient Ones
6. Within the Timeless Winds of the Beyond
7. Stare into the Void
8. The Mysteries of the Depths
10. The Legend of the Sunken Monastery
11. Night's Blood
Andras – Guitars
Draconis – Guitars