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Infernaeon - "A Symphony of Suffering" (CD)

Infernaeon - "A Symphony of Suffering" CD cover image

"A Symphony of Suffering" track listing:

1. Shadows Of Obscurity (1:47)
2. Embodiment Of Sin (6:33)
3. Sleeping God (5:17)
4. Oracle Of Armageddon (5:57)
5. March Of Death (6:08)
6. A.I.D.S. (Annihilating The Inner Decay Of Species) (5:19)

Reviewed by on December 20, 2009

"...an absolute mess of an album...Infernaeon has yet to figure out how to make this work."

To start, I’m going to get this out of the way first: Infernaeon’s debut, “A Symphony of Suffering,” is an absolute mess of an album. Hailing from Florida, which has a rich tradition of death metal, the band obviously takes influence from bands like Hate Eternal and Morbid Angel; so much so that this album, in parts, sounds a lot like Hate Eternal with synth. That may sound like a good idea, but Infernaeon has yet to figure out how to make this work.

That said, I won’t go so far as to say that Infernaeon are bad musicians. They’re not. They can play death metal. But so far, they haven’t demonstrated that they can play it in an interesting fashion. First off, the album, from start to finish, is very symphonic. There’s nothing inherently wrong with synth and, when done well, can sound amazing. Unfortunately, when done the wrong way, it sounds very bad. For the most part, the keyboards are just way too loud and tend to appear in strange parts of songs. This is particularly apparent on “March of Death.” Near the end of the song, the synth kicks in randomly. The sound is neither epic nor complementary to the music. In fact, it’s pretty annoying. This leads me to my second point: the majority of the music in general is written in such a fashion that flow is nearly non-existent. The music is taken from epic and brutal to annoying and full of filler material.

As I said before, these songs are extremely messy and, at times, sloppy. “Sleeping God,” for example, starts out with an uninspired, tired riff. The song does have a decent solo, but then attempts a chorus in the second half of the song that lasts until the end, where there was none at the beginning. Some random shredding occurs, and the song finishes out with more ear grating synthesizer. There are whole sections of this song and others where the heaviness suddenly and strangely vanishes, leaving sterile, pointless blasting. Some parts like this almost sound like the band screwed up and just figured, “Ah, who’s going to notice. Print!”

“Oracle of Armageddon” has some sections that are really epic, but most of it is just a boring thrash-fest. “March of Death” opens with an epically failed attempt at a marching beat. The transitions from thrashing to blasting are among the worst and sloppiest on the album. Throwing back to the 90s acronym rage, “A.I.D.S. (Annihilating The Inner Decay Of Species)” ends the album with a song that is too long and just as uninspired.

This album really could have been something interesting. I think that Infernaeon really should focus on how the music and the riffs sound and worry less about how technical or proficient their skills are. “A Symphony of Suffering” is little but an amalgamation of influences from different metal genres. The result is uninteresting and, quite frankly, headache inducing. Fans of this type of music would be better served by just playing some Hate Eternal, even if Infernaeon's vocalist can scream for 40 seconds straight.

Highs: It's metal.

Lows: Uninspired, messy, and sloppy. Elements thrown together in a rather slapdash fashion.

Bottom line: An ambitious album with good intentions, yet doesn't deliver the winning formula in the least.

Rated 1.5 out of 5 skulls
1.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)