South African progressive Thrash Metal band Infanteria’s third long-player has been a long time coming. Formed in 2005, it wasn’t until 2013 that they were able to release their debut record, Isolated Existence, which was swiftly followed by sophomore album Where Serpents Conquer.
Seven years and a pandemic later, we are now getting Patriarch, an explosive 43 minutes and eight songs of music.
Infanteria – Patriarch (Independent Release)
Release Date: 17 June 2022
Words: Paul Hutchings
Patriarch opens in aggressive style, the powerful Burnt Relic proving the ideal first song, with plenty of thrashing power. It’s a relatively standard Thrash Metal track, with some of those early Anthrax and Metallica influences evident, but it’s still a right banger to kick-start things.
It’s on Raging Bastards, the second song on the release, where the band begin to really flex their progressive muscles. Soaring melodies via the vocals and solo work of lead guitarist Chris Hall work in harmony and his delivery here and throughout the album is impressive.
The first big piece of work comes on Into The Depths. A more traditional Metal song, it’s expansive, ambitious and changes tempo as it develops. I’m not over-enthusiastic about the gruff style of the vocals, such is the strength of the clean singing here, but that’s a minor point. The song has a fiery explosive mid-section, bringing a new dimension of blistering Thrash Metal, which rages like a fire. It’s a quality piece of work that should appeal to a wide range of Metalheads.
A gentle interlude of All I’ve Ever Lost links Into The Depths with the second heavyweight song on the album. The eight-minute Swansong sits alongside Into The Depths in terms of ambition and execution.
It’s chunkier, heavier (in parts), with those early Metallica influences evident once more in parts. The gentle breakdown with acoustic elements provides respite from the razor-sharp riffs and allows Hall to really demonstrate his vocal quality.
It’s one of the standout tracks on the album and builds neatly to a high-level finale, albeit with more growling vocals that work better here. It’s here that the band’s progressive style really comes to the fore, with a staccato drumming burst and some vocal harmonies soaring high.
There are some more headbanging opportunities during the final couple of tracks. Infanteria can build huge songs, but they can also rip out some ferocious thrashers and Repent Through Orders You Seek provides one such opportunity.
It’s when they bring their blend of styles that they really hit top gear, and this is confirmed in the final track, the majestic title track that sees the band interplay in a semi-jam style with mighty effects.
It’s a killer conclusion to an album that gets better on every listen, and if you enjoy Thrash Metal with a bit more to it, then this is an album for you.