Hot damn! I like surprises (at least good ones) just as much as the next guy or gal, but I have to say that some of my most favorite surprises are when I find out a band I really like has released a new album right under my nose without me knowing anything about it. Case in point, Germany’s one man ass-kicking band, Infestus, and the newest release, Thrypsis. I’m relatively new to Infestus, as 2014’s full-length, The Reflecting Void, was my introduction to the band. That album was a totally blind purchase that ended up paying off quite unmeasurably, even landing in my list of favorite albums for that year, so when I happened across Thrypsis just waiting, all by its lonesome,to be reviewed, I jumped at the chance to claim it.

Infestus isn’t your typical affair, and Thrypsis is a hard album to pigeonhole into one style. The extremity of the band is clearly deathly blackened, yet melancholic and somberly depressive, akin to the Shining or even Bethlehem. Though Infestus places much more emphasis and progression in its lugubrious manifestations, evoking the likes of Paradise Lost, Swallow the Sun, Eyes of Fire, and sometimes a bit of Mastodon. In fact, I would say that Thrypsis sounds like Eyes of Fire reborn and regrouped with a more than stellar, black metal aesthetic (which is as awesome as it sounds). Every song is an accomplished victory, the music being more of a journey than opposed to a beatdown. These are riffs, rhythms, and leads that you feel in your gut, your bones, and even in your void riddled soul. Suffice to say, Infestus mastermind and multi- instrumentalist, Andras, knows how to tap into the gamut of human emotion within his material.

I’m not sure what it exactly is, but something about Thrypsis just draws me in like few albums have this past year, and I love it. I love that its somberness, its sadness, its melancholy, hits me in an enduring and genuine fashion and that it all balances out with a raging extremity that is unwavering and realistic, even candid in its presentation. It is albums such as Thrypsis that are able to transverse the gap between merely being a great listen, to becoming something truly meaningful and even therapeutic. I can’t even do justice to the album’s individual tracks by casually referencing them in a recommendation. No, these are tracks best consumed and devoured free of any forehand journalistic rhetoric (though I will go as far as to say that “Seed of Agony” is probably my favorite individual song of the year). This is introspective metal that deserves to be heard and judged solely on the listener’s own taste and merit.

Admittedly, I should have turned this review in and ultimately, got it to you, the reader, many weeks ago, but for some reason I just couldn’t seem to express how I felt about Thrypsis without gushing extensively about each track (and I’m already too much of a long-winded individual, in case you couldn’t tell). This album hit me in a most perfect way and after many listens I questioned if my perception was really on the mark or just overzealous excitement from simply having a new Infestus album to experience. I decided to sit on this album a bit and I moved on to other bands/reviews. Coming back to Thrypsis and fully delving myself into the album once more confirmed one thing. That I should always trust my gut, at least in metal affairs. Thrypsis is indeed one of very few albums of 2018 that hooked me like I was a hungry fish. Hopefully, and I don’t see why not, you will get reeled into this album and band as much as I did.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
January 17th, 2019


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