Infernal Stronghold - _Godless Noise_
(Forcefield, 2009)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (7.5 out of 10)
Formerly known as just Stronghold (I'm gonna guess without even looking that there a friggin' zillion other Strongholds out there), the more fully christened Infernal Stronghold sure make a hell of a racket, and that's most definitely in a complimentary fashion. The press release describes them as "basically a DIY punk band that brandish venomous black metal" and it's hard to improve upon that, although the genre emphasis varies from song to song. Album opener "Curb the Trend" sounds like early 80s h/c recorded with modern "kvlt" production values, but the very next track, "Taghut", reverses that altogether and virtually buries any -core tendencies beneath a blistering yet at times atmospheric blackened assault.

Lyrics definitely boast a punk flair, mostly consisting of diatribes against wasting one's life away or blindly following in the falsely indoctrinated footsteps of others. "Crashing Trucks Into Churches" sounds like a nihilistic piss take -- shades of Seth Putnam perhaps -- but it's a dead serious rant against some individual, presumably a real life story although one unfamiliar to myself, who crashed his pickup into a church in a conformist attempt to prove his worth amongst his blasphemous cohorts. The title track has got to be the most furious of all, raining unholy hell upon ears and skull alike with one of the most chaotic blastbeats ever unleashed. At 26 minutes and change, Infernal Stronghold don't have many opportunities to prove their diversity, but fuck all that anyway: when you're in the mood for what they have to offer a half hour of uninterrupted musical mayhem is what you're after, and with _Godless Noise_ that's damn sure what you've got.


(article published 8/9/2009)

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