Italy’s Infernal Angels are no strangers to the underground black metal scene. Formded in 2002, they have created some truly dark and brutal black metal, with a little dose of death metal added for good measure. Armed with a fresh line-up, founding vocalist Xes is set to release Ars Goetia, the fourth full-length LP for Infernal Angels overall, and the third on My Kingdom Music.
Opening track “AMDUSIAS: The Sound Of Hell” starts things off rather ominously, with some John Carpenter-esque synthesizers, and washes of ambient noise and electronic fuzz. This same mood is kept over the course of the rest of the record, which mixes moody atmospherics with raw, old-school sounding black metal similar to early Dark Funeral. The electronics and synthesizers are used very minimally, more as a means to add layers of sound than anything else; make no mistake, despite the presence of synthesizers, Infernal Angels are not a symphonic band. The intro to “PAIMON: The Secret Of Mind” is the only other moment on Ars Goetia that has a synthesizer-heavy section, but that quickly gives way to heavy, death metal-infused black metal, and feature guest vocals from Snarl of Black Faith.
There are melodic guitar bits mixed into each track that give the music a little more depth than your average “buzzsaw guitar attack” that can be heard on countless underground releases. There is a thick, noticeable bass guitar tone that provides a satisfyingly heavy low end, which, again, is something you don’t always get on a black metal release. With the use of synthesizers and melodic guitar bits, Infernal Angels distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack by adding a little mood to the maelstrom. The production is somewhat hazy, (intentionally so), giving the music an unearthly quality that will definitely appeal to black metal fans that like a little more atmosphere. If you’re a fan of Dark Funeral and Mgla, this record provides the perfect middle ground between those two sounds.