The Infernal Sea are a four piece black metal band from East England that exist since 2009, and with Negotium Crucis they release their third full length record. The record consists of 9 songs that span impressive 54 minutes of old school black metal. By old school I mean that they would not have particularely sticked out between the Norwegian bands of the second wave of black metal. I feel especially reminded of Gorgoroth between 1996 and 2000. There are other influences here as well, but that’s what first came to my mind.
One thing they bring to the table that deviates a bit from the usual suspects of this particular part of the genre is the occasional guitar solo. There are few and far between (I think I counted two?), but they fit in well – just enough to spice things up a bit. The rest of the album is pretty much what you would expect. Old school black metal delivered with skull-splitting anger as the main attitude. This is perfectly supported by the sound of the record – while dirty and lo-fi enough to satisfy black metal purists, is just well “produced” enough (and this word is used really carefully here) to make the drums punchy and propelling. The kick and snare cut through the high gain guitars enough, and you feel every tom hit somewhere in your gut region. This is especially tasty on the tracks that start with a short drum intro.
Other than that there is not too much to talk about other than saying I liked it. Nowadays black metal has spread out into so many diverse subgenres that I really enjoy exploring. But it’s nice to once in a while get lost in a call back to the good old bluntness of the second wave that was my go to selection of albums for quite some time. And it’s done quite well here too – this is a well executed, dirty, angry and blunt (in a good way) black metal assault.