Infernal Poetry - Beholding The Unpure
Fuel Records
Technical Groove/Death Metal
9 songs (42:40)
Release year: 2005
Infernal Poetry, Fuel Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

What are they putting in the water in Italy? Enough to make deranged Death Metallists Infernal Poetry's second album a trip to the lunatic asylum and back, that's for sure. The band have been active for over ten years, have toured with everyone from Rotting Christ to Behemoth, yet success outside their homeland eludes them - which is pretty strange when you listen to them. Clearly rooted in Death Metal, their sound has taken influence from the groovier end of the spectrum to form a modern yet underground style - imagine Mudvayne's arguably terrible L.D. 50 album if it was definitely not terrible and had a big ol' doze of Death Metal inserted instead of ridiculous bodypaint and rapping, and you have Beholding The Unpure, more or less.

Now, I can see plenty of true and pure Death Metallers getting annoyed with Infernal Poetry due to the antics of vocalist Paolo Ojetti who, if not actually insane, certainly enjoys giving that impression. He growls, he screams, he whispers, he chuckles, he breathes rhythmically, he does it all and more in the space of a single song, and whilst you quickly get over the surprise, it can be rather overwhelming if Nu Metal is but a bad memory of a single drunken night many a moon ago. This is far, far from Nu Metal, however - the guitars are downtuned, but influenced by Stockholm rather than Iowa, and the technical and avant-garde character of the music means that you're kept on your toes. Pieces of constantly-shifting riffery like opening track I Always Lay Beneath have copious guitarwork, clearly Melodeath-influenced in places, yet the moment where syncopated gasps and chugs take over is the band's unique personality and nothing else.

What cinched it for me was the fact that the band haven't gotten rid of solos and lead guitars, making for some interesting moments such as the shifting between Gojira-esque groove and Tech-Death melody in The Unpurifier. Insane Vein Invading Inner Space is like a deranged meeting between Celtic Frost and System Of A Down, Fleshape speeds things up and thrashes like a maniac - the most 'normal' Metal track present - before The Punishment comes along to ensure that any attempts to headbang will leave you pretty well whiplashed. Oh, and Paolo starts crying towards the middle of the song, just to ensure complete and utter freak-outs on the part of any trad. metalheads who have somehow made it this far.

I'm not even going to attempt to say what sort of person this is recommended for; Beholding The Unpure fits snugly between the Tech-Death and Modern Groove pigeonholes, regarding you with a smug yet faintly unsettling air. Genuine originality is, as ever, to be praised to the skies, and I can see plenty of open-minded Death Metalheads loving Infernal Poetry. Heck, they've got a new album out already which I shall doubtless get around to next week; for the moment, put the closing cover of Iron Maiden's Fear Of The Dark (Paolo's schizophrenic style surprisingly fitting) on repeat and space out to the sound of a clever band that knows how to use its strengths to full advantage.

Killing Songs :
I Always Lay Beneath, The Unpurifier, Fleshape, The Punishment, Blood Spilled For A Spell
Goat quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Infernal Poetry that we have reviewed:
Infernal Poetry - Paraphiliac reviewed by Goat and quoted 77 / 100
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