Sunday, April 23, 2017

QUICK HITS CLASSICS: Infester - To the Depths, in Degradation

Time to test the depths...

Confession time: even as a long time death metal fan, I've never actually bothered listening to Infester's sole full length, To the Depths, in Degradation.  I don't know why, it has a long standing reputation as one of the few legitimate cult classics of the genre but for some reason I just never took the time to sit down and give it a listen.  I decided to change that today, mostly because I read some old reviews for it from two of my personal favorite reviewing peers, droneriot and lord_ghengis.  The former says what most people say (it's horrifyingly ugly and monstrous and inhuman) while the latter says the opposite (it's propulsive and riffy and varied and fresh), but they both agreed it is one of the all time greatest releases in the genre.  This intrigued me, I wondered how I would feel about it since I'm prone to being contrarian at times.  Time to finally give this dark beast a spin:

I'm immediately struck by the droneriot school of thought.  This is disgustingly brutal, almost inhuman in its approach to the tropes of the genre.  It's bizarre to think how ahead of its time the album was.  It may not have predated some of the earliest examples of supreme filth in death metal like Mental Funeral or Onward to Golgotha, but it's definitely one of the earlier examples of death metal eschewing everything in favor of unremitting brutality.  Everything about this just sounds... I dunno, malevolent, like some form of audial curse is being put on you for listening.  Seriously, I frequently champion Suffocation as one of the heaviest bands of the 90s but they wish they could have sounded this bleak.  It's dark and earnestly hateful, with a focused intent to harm.  The frequent shifts from bone-rattling, harrowing doom-slathered dirges to almost illogical blasts of frenzied chaos just sound unnatural and utterly fucknuts wrong.  This is hurting me, it's so great but it seems like it was crafted in some sort of alternate Shadow Dimension where human rules don't apply.  Did the fucking Dunwich Horror write this?  Is this what Wilbur Whateley was reading to his brother?  Listen to those vocals!  Is he roaring?  Groaning?  Dying??  I'm listening to this on Spotify because piracy is wrong, kids, and the occasional breaks for ads for Axe Body Spray and KFC are doing nothing to snap be back to reality.  I'm only a few songs in as a write this, something just compelled me to start writing by the time "Chamber of Reunion" started.  It's just so unrelenting and harrowing, there is nothing human or relatable about this, it's some utterly alien incantation ritual I'm sure is meant to kill me.  Is this like The Ring?  Am I gonna die in a week??

And now, and this is 100% true, near the end of "Epicurean Entrails", I started to feel lightheaded and my stomach started tying itself in knots.  I dizzily stumbled to my bathroom and proceeded to take the most forceful and jet black liquid shit of my life.  WHAT KIND OF USOG DEMONRY IS THIS??  I CAVE, I'M DONE MAN, LICK MY FOREHEAD AND CLEANSE ME YOU FIENDS.

So I'm convinced, To the Depths, in Degradation is cursed and I'm never listening to it again because I would like to live a full life.


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