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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CD Review: Infected Malignity - Re : Bel

Infected Malignity - Re : Bel
2007 Galy Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Only a metal band could come up with a name so meaty and full of despair as Infected Malignity. Seriously, we only wish a corporate pop act could be so bold since it would inevitably be just as cancerous to their nucleus as the name implies.

This Japanese prog-grind metal unit has been tinkering around since 2004 putting together rapid mathematical thrash equations with blistering complexity, and after a lineup overhaul to include new vocalist Kouhei Watanbe and bassist Takaya Tamura, the band issues a six-song mini album as follow-up to 2006's The Malignity Born From Despair, their North American debut for Galy Records, Re : Bel.

The opening instrumental "Waltz of the Rebellion" is a literal calm before the storm as Infected Malignity weaves a dreamy and deceptively tranquil sequence before whipping up a tsunami of aggressive blitzes yielding subliminally layered melody structures that slickly segue into one another through the opening half of the album. Don't look now, but you're on track 4 already! By the time you're bobbing steadily to "Clear Sky Depicted By Wicked Artist," Infected Malignity is already pummeling you at top flight with "Inequality/Fancy." While you're atrapped in, Infected Malignity hauls you down impressive note plunges and skids you to a halt with a haunted concluding melody on "S.N.D."

The inherent problem with grind metal for future purposes is that it will take skilled hands and musicians thinking outside the box of Napalm Death-ascribed pounding tempo norms in order to stand a fighting chance for recognition. Today's grind band has the dilemma of overcoming new rules and theories that are rewritten every day by forward thinkers such as Between the Buried and Me, Dillinger Escape Plan, Despised Icon and Psyopus. Fortunately for Infected Malignity, they understand this perfectly and are well on their way to creating their own fresh and dynamic niche of the form.

Rating: ****

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