Infernal Majesty - _Unholier Than Thou_
by: Paul Schwarz (
It is eleven years since the band dubbed "Canada's Slayer" unleashed their now classic, in the underground, album _None Shall Defy_, and I feel that if we were to look for a similar label to place on them today, it would be "Canada's Death". The similarity of _Unholier Than Thou_ to Mr. Schuldiner and his various mobs' creations is such that this would not be wholly unfair either. The comparisons can become embarrassing, for example if one checks out the beginning of second track "The Hunted": the opening lyrical passages and the timing in which they are delivered is disturbingly similar to Schuldiner's own vocal style and the kind of lyrics he pens. But what did we expect Infernal Majesty to do? If we expected _None Shall Defy Mk.II_, then we certainly don't have it, but I must question whether that is what anyone did want or expect. To many that album is classic; I personally find it good but not astounding. To follow such a revered debut eleven years later is more than hard and is highly unlikely to produce a similar disc. Think of how much Slayer or, dare I say it, Metallica changed in eleven years. If this was a debut, it would be marked down as a Death clone and justifiably so. It suffers from a lack of variation between songs and the fact that it is so derivative of Death. However, it is an enjoyable 37 minutes which are well produced and technically proficient. If you want what could effectively be seen as "the lost Death record", then you have it here. Problem is, Death have got a new record which is better than _UTT_ and this is not a CD which I feel will capture the imagination of fans of the original Infernal Majesty sound. I have to ask, then: who will buy this record and why?
(article published 1/9/1998)
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