Although the Moldovans Infected Rain have been building momentum for over 15 years now, it was only 2022’s Ecdysis that saw me take the plunge and have a listen. It was a schizophrenic record, with a total style mash-up and almost impossible to label other than modern Heavy Metal. The combination of skull-bursting riffs, Slipknot-edged passages, funk-driven electronica and djent breakdowns was a real challenge to an old, balding rocker like me.
Infected Rain – Time (Napalm Records)
Release Date: 9 February 2024
Words: Paul Hutchings
There’s no doubt that there’s a buzz around this band. The visceral nature of their sound, combining savage and explosive sections with ethereal, haunting parts, provides quite the soundscape. It’s Progressive Metal in many senses, although it might not be obvious from the opening minutes of Because I Let You, with its driving riff and singer Lena Scissorhands snarling vocals.
It’s a bold opener, not least because of the dramatic and sudden switch of tempo, with a delicate, dreamy passage that sees Scissorhands change tact completely before the vibrant and explosive finish to the song.
Time sees the band with a refreshed lineup. Scissorhands is joined again by guitarist Vadim ‘Vidick’ Ojog, drummer Eugene Voluta, and new bassist Alice Lane. The band describe Time as “a homage to every fleeting second, every heartbeat, and every breath that has led us to this moment.”
If this moment is to be their crowning glory, then it’s evident that the band has worked incredibly hard to get here, with constant touring backing up their impressive songwriting.
With 12 songs on offer, Time is certainly value for money, should you decide to invest. Their sound is contemporary, bristling with an energy and passion that many bands simply can’t achieve. Their fusion of influences and styles makes each song distinctive, and whether you like it or not, you can’t argue that this is the band for whom average is not on the radar.
Never To Return brings far-Eastern instrumentation into the mix, as it switches places with choppy guitar riffs, electronica, and Scissorhands ability to soar high with an angelic delivery before the demonic roars return and spew forth.
There’s a scintillating groove that underpins their sound, one that no doubt demands full participation during live shows. One can see that the Sophie Tent should be bouncing come Infected Rain’s set at Bloodstock in August. They throw a fast pace with The Answer Is You, the bulging Djent drive of Vivarium, which sees some of Scissorhands’ most powerful vocals come to the fore.
Elsewhere, there’s brave experimentation with elements of synth-wave, drum and bass, rhythmic patterns that challenge and searing bursts of fiery guitar work. Pandemonium creates a huge blend of styles, a punchy drum sound and shuddering guitar, making this a future pit favourite. And underneath all the pulsating energy are key messages and lyrics that make the listener think.
As an example, the penultimate song, Paura, sung in a mixture of Italian and English, beckons you to understand that fear is our own limitation; pain needs harnessing to move forward. It’s a huge song, drenched in emotion and hugely atmospheric.
This leads to the ambient finale of A Second Or A Thousand Years, which allows a sharp intake of breath as one of the most intriguing albums of 2024 ends.