The Antecedent (Reissue)

Infestation were a rather short lived, but no less important, death metal band from Massachusetts in the early – mid 90’s.  With the death metal scene in New England putting out some killer bands, such as Tyrant Trooper, Scattered Remnants and Desolate, that entire area were also competing with the Boston Hardcore scene as well as Ska scene.  A lot of great bands from that sector.  The singer from Infestation, Mike DiSalvo, would eventually relocate to Canada and become the singer for Cryptopsy for 2 albums and doing an amazing job on those two records and now he is the singer for Akurion-check them out-they are outstanding.  Anyway, while in Internal Bleeding, I was fortunate that we played shows with Infestation, both in New York and in the New England area.  Redefining Darkness Records have reissued all of Infestation’s output, calling this reissue The Antecedent, which incorporates the band’s Visions of Repulsion 1992 demo and Conceived 1994 demo.  Finally available in a remastered form with a well put together album cover.

The first 4 songs are the debut demo and regarding both demos, Infestation were a little bit different than some of the American death metal bands coming out during that time period.  One of the main things was they wrote rather long songs with the average song length at around 6 minutes-very long, for back then, with American death metal. The other thing was they incorporated some doom to their death metal and rarely, if ever blasted, they saved the blast beats for the second demo, but the band had a crushing and brooding heaviness, which even to this day is heavier than many current bands, as well as a bit of mid-paced groove, and a little tinge of Boston attitude hardcore.  Those ‘corish moments were more due to Mike’s vocals.   His enunciation of the lyrics – you could understand what he was growling, but he also had a lot of piss n vinegar with his vocal projection.  This is one of the reasons when he joined Cryptopsy, people were not sold on his style, since his delivery was quite the opposite of Lord Worm’s.  Now I played many shows with Cryptopsy in both Canada and the USA, during that time period, ate and partied with them.  Some of the nicest guys ever and I still love Lord Worm’s work with them.  But since I was already a huge Infestation fan, and Mike doesn’t even know this, from my point of view, I absolutely love, love, his vocals with Cryptopsy.  His pissed off, gruff vocal approach on Whisper Supremacy , as well as And Then You’ll Beg, were and still are some of the most hate-inspired vocals ever.  Anyway, “Scepter of Christ”, started off their debut demo, the demo with all the eyeballs drawn all over the cover, and the song incorporated a dense guitar sound and the song is so damn heavy.  “Vial of Denial” was another great song.  I always loved the opening isolated guitar riff and then how the song got into a mid-paced heaviness, a bit quicker than Bolt Thrower, but no less heavy.  The opening groove part would cause murderous rampages in pits and my fave song on that demo.

Conceived is still one of my fave demos of all time.  This saw Infestation take their approach a little further in terms of songwriting, quicker passages, with blast beats and production.  The title track, after the spoken word moment, I feel like I’m at a Sunday sermon-check out the original demo cover to see the religious under/overtone of it, and then the groove passage comes in and you immediately feel the sense of urgency and bludgeoning heaviness.  The faster parts really upped the ante and made the band more aggressive.  Tempo shifts from the blasts into the mid-paced moments then to the groove and doom, really created a more expansive sound.  “Gone” would become almost the band’s closest to an Asphyx true doom/death metal song.  Even entering Winter territory with the slow plodding doom moments that are ultra-heavy.  A monolithically heavy song.

The remastering of both demos is top notch, on The Antecedent.  Nary a hiss is present.  I can tell these were both remastered in their purest form.  I’ve heard too many album/demo “remasters”, which were actually reissues either ripped from YouTube or the exact demo, therefore sound quality was spotty, uneven, massive amounts of hiss and this remaster is non of that.  The sound is crisp, loud, powerful and truly gives both these demos their just rewards, because of how great these originally were.  Get this reissue now – Infestation were an important death metal band, who deserves more credit than what they received!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
August 3rd, 2021


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