I’ve been sitting on these releases from The Infernal Sea for a little while now and again, I must apologise for my outrageous laxness in getting something written up about this UK band. I have almost no excuses. I’ve been busy. I’ve been sick. I’ve been at work – at night. Grand Theft Auto V etc etc etc…
The Crypt Sessions saw the cold light of day earlier this year while debut Call of the Augur was unleashed in 2012. The split with Disinterred that is hiding at the top there was released during the summer and features one track from The Infernal Sea which also features on The Crypt Sessions.
It has to be said that the physical product is an extremely important part of The Infernal Sea’s set up and each item has had a lot of care and attention put into its overall look and feel. Considering that the band do everything themselves, it’s very impressive indeed.
The Call of the Augur marked The Infernal Sea’s first foray into the full length and its pretty raw in nature. Vocals are blunt and coarse while the drums (James Burke) sit high in the mix and provide an interesting way into the backbone of the songs. Small samples of melody sneak into proceedings during opener “A Prayer of Cleansing” and a dual vocal on “Malevolence of our Lord” sets the band apart from other acts on the UK by giving the band a little more power and a much more interesting overall sound.
“Catastrophic Reprisals” throws a blackened death metal vibe into the mix allowing The Infernal Sea to showcase different techniques and this continues into the deeply atmospheric and dark instrumental piece “The Gathering.” The band save the best until last though, and “Ritual Incantation” traverses the black metal spectrum with gorgeous runs of melody, blasts and strikingly horrific vocal lines that are counterbalanced by an extended outro that takes in the rush of waves in the sea.
The Crypt Sessions was recorded live in the studio and the truly feral nature of the band is evident in its raw heart. The blacker side of the band seeps into this recording and so “Skinwalker” pushes along on a heady and claustrophobic beat and “The Circle Closes” continues to pulsate with a defiant and disgusting tone that is overlaid with a bile-laced vocal (Dean Lettice) that spits and convulses with a furious and filthy cadence. “Into The Unknown” pushes those two tracks to the side though with its fifteen minute long run-time and an interesting line in melody that suddenly shines through the darkness at times and takes the song past the standard black metal territory. Outrageously painful stabs of black noise permeate the heart of the song and lead it into ever more increasingly insane routes of sound and if you’re brave enough to endure a solid seven or eight minutes of intense feedback and cacophonous rage then your ears are in for a treat.
The Infernal Sea promise much with these two early works and with momentum gathering for their next full length, it won’t be long until this young UK band are a more common name on the scene.