Infestum - _Ta Natas_
(Blood Fire Death, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
Infestum are only the second band I have ever heard from the ex-Soviet republic of Belarus, following on the heels of Folkvang. The NS leaning Folkvang focused on national romantic tales of Pagan might, but Infestum have stayed far away from the flute waving for a more cacophonous interpretation of black metal.

The vocals of Ion the Saint (huh?) are permanently distorted, although somewhat unnecessarily, as its sounds like his throat ripping snarls could do the job with electronic manipulation. However, they do provide a more vicious side, which together with the loose performance and not quite glossy production results in a more ferocious and chaotic listen, enhanced and not alleviated by the synths soaring in the background.

The result is mixed; "Te Deum" is possibly the best example of the labels' "chaotic" description, and when Ion screams "I Pray to Satan!", one genuinely feels like echoing that sentiment. On the other hand, "Legion in Me" plods along at a sedate and unimpressive pace. Despite being a rather patchy album, the scales are tilted in their favour, and it is sufficiently above average to justify a purchase. A great sound; now the songwriting needs work.

(As an aside, artwork is provided by Waldmahr Smerdulak, who has worked for many Eastern European bands, including Karcinoma and Arcanar. I'm no artist, but Smerdulak has a clearly recognizable and professional style -- I can understand why so many bands make use of his services.)


(article published 26/1/2008)

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