A Symphony of Suffering

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The title of Infernaeon's debut mini-album, A Symphony of Suffering, leaves little to the imagination but gets the necessary point across, that symphonic elements constitute a crucial building block of the Floridian ensemble's otherwise inexorably vicious blackened death metal. Keep in mind, though, that the band (made up of a motley crew of experienced musicians active in other local outfits and studio pros) never comes within sniffing distance of an actual orchestra, never mind classical instruments. Rather, Infernaeon rely on producer and synthesizer orchestrator Zack Brown to take their supremely competent but unsurprising death metal foundation, and -- voila! -- transform it into "symphonic metal." That small bit of nitpicking aside, however, fans of such masters of American extreme metal as Morbid Angel and Immolation will get their bollocks sufficiently moshed by hyper-technical onslaughts like "Embodiment of Sin" (reminiscent of Emperor, at times) and the inventively paced "Sleeping God," while probably suffering only minor ill effects from the sheets of synthesizers that embellish them (see also Brown's mock-orchestral and metal-free intro sequence). Said keyboards offer many ear-catching contrasts, backdrops, and counterpoints to the metallic maelstrom embodied by the above-cited tracks, as well as the two re-recorded demo tracks, "Oracle of Armageddon" and "March of Death," which are enhanced with guest vocal performances from Ben Falgoust (Soilent Green, Goatwhore) and Keith DeVito (Catastrophic, Pyrexia), respectively. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, in other words, this is not; so don't come expecting any singalong passages or classical music Infernaeon's domain, symphonic metal puts the emphasis on METAL, not the other way around.

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