Despite having seen the name Infestus on the Internet, I’ve never given them a chance, however upon discovering that they are signed to Debemur Morti Productions, I knew it was a release I had to check out; Debemur Morti is a label that consistently releases great material, so seeing Infestus being signed to them immediately gave me some inkling that this would be a strong album.
Infestus is a one-man project hailing from Germany, the brain-child of Andras and throughout their 15-year existence, his 4 albums to date all seem to have been well received from other reviews that I’ve seen on the Internet. So what about "Thrypsis"? It’s been four years since his last album "The Reflecting Void" and one of the first impressions that I get from listening to "Thrypsis" is that it sounds like an album four years in the making, it is a well crafted and multi-layered piece of art. The attention that has been paid and effort involved is truly admirable, everything has its place within the album and feels vital to the body of work.
Musically, Infestus brings to mind a variety of bands like Secrets of the Moon, Shining, Schammasch and Blut Aus Nord, yet, a true testament to Andras is that it doesn’t call to mind any direct comparison, yes, there are influences I can hear from elsewhere but they’re so varied and sparse that this project can proudly stand on its feet as a unique and fully realized concept.
The songs for the most part are a mid-based affair, there’s the occasional blast here and there but the controlled pace of the album conveys great emotion and manages intensity without resorting to all-out blast filled savagery, this is coupled with the amazing composition; throughout the record there are beautiful piano interludes, clean guitar sections, killer riffs and epic solos. The drums are played spectacularly, whilst they may not be the most technical chops, the variation and subtlety (at times) with which they are utilized really helps elevate the album into greatness.
The production on the album is similarly awesome, everything has space to be noticed, it has remarkably clean clarity when needed, but it can then easily shift into a more raw feel whilst still retaining all the qualities of each instrument involved. It’s produced to a very high standard, not once does it sound sterile or lifeless, or needlessly lo-fi.
"Thrypsis" is great in every aspect, it constantly feels focused and planned, everything feels vital, each additional element only serves to add value to the songs, whether that be extra guitar overdubs or even the removal of instruments from the songs to bring space and atmosphere to the tracks, and all this from one guy; all too often one person projects get bogged down with narrow vision and repetition, it’s impressive to see the scope at which he can visualise a project and bring it to fruition.
I had no idea what to expect from this release and I am more than pleasantly surprised, it is one of the best albums I have heard in recent months and potentially one of the best albums so far this year. I’ll definitely be diving into Infestus’ back catalogue to see what other gems I may have missed out on!
Reviewed by Dan Thaumitan