Interview with INFANTERIA

Infanteria Logo

Interview with INFANTERIA
Interviewed by Beth Jones

Hi Everyone, welcome to a slightly tweaked EMQs interview with Progressive Thrash Metal band, Infanteria, whose new album, “Patriarch” is out today. Check out our review of it here:

Please introduce yourselves, tell us what you play, and tell us all about Infanteria.

Chris – I’m Chris, Guitarist and Vocalist for Progressive Thrash Metal band Infanteria. Tim plays bass guitar with Adrian rounding things off on drums. We formed back in 2005 with 3 albums under our belt thus far. Our new album, Patriarch, is out everywhere on 17 June 2022.

Please tell us about where you are from, and what the Metal Scene is like there?

Chris – We’re all originally from Cape Town, South Africa, however I moved over to the UK a few years back. Compared to the scene in places like the UK, South Africa’s metal scene is tiny, but it’s a really passionate crowd with an awesome sense of community. Living in South Africa is certainly turbulent and getting your angst and anxiety out at a metal show is the perfect release – I truly feel that’s a massive factor to the energy of the shows in SA compared to other countries.

Please tell us about your new single ‘Embrace The Trauma’ and album ‘Patriarch’

Chris – It’s the fastest and most straight-to-the-point song on the album with a great gang vocal chorus hook and it made sense to put it out as the first single. Our fans haven’t heard from us in ages, and we wanted to give them an energetic, no-frills introduction to the album before they hear the twist and turns on the rest of the tracks.

How did you come up with the album name ‘Patriarch’?

Chris – The theme of the album is control and what people can manifest when they feel they’ve lost control or in full control. This is put across through family traditions/expectations; cancel culture; broken relationships; tribal vs individual identity and other scenarios in the lyrics. At the end of the day, we are the rulers of our own destiny and our very own patriarch. It’s a strong, thought-provoking title and every metal album needs one of those.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Tim: From a bass perspective, Cliff Burton, Troy Sanders, Steve Harris and, on this album, I tried to channel a bit of Martín Méndez.

Adrian: Definitely all the power drummers of the 80’s & 90’s. Ulrich, Lombardo/Bostaph, Benante, Hoglan, Menza, Nicko McBrain & Vinnie Paul stand out among many. 2000’s and beyond favourites are Per Møller Jensen, Aquiles Priester, Eloy Casagrande, Mike Portnoy & Dirk Verveuren to name a few.

Chris: Hetfield, Mustaine & Chuck Billy will always be the forefathers of influencers for me. Add a little Sylosis, Mastodon, Opeth, Iron Maiden & Pantera for good measure.

What first got you into music?       

Tim: My dad’s Led Zeppelin boxset, Danny Elfman’s 1989 Batman score, and the Command & Conquer: Red Alert soundtrack.

Adrian: I’m from a musical family, so jamming with my parents since I was 6 years old on piano really developed my love for music in general. Discovering amazing rock n roll artists in my older brother’s music collection definitely helped too.

Chris: I come from quite a musical family – my great-grandmother was a professional opera singer, and my mom sang in the Cape Town Choir. My Uncle and older cousin used to play guitar and sing old Beatles and 70s classics at all the big family events, and I remember music always being a constant throughout my childhood.

My dad got me into Queen and Elvis when I was about 8 and I really dug the power, musicality, and speed of the music. When I was 12/13, my oldest friend, Giorgio, played Metallica and Guns N Roses for me and handed me his older brother’s new electric guitar to chug on and the rest is history.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

Tim: Rammstein.

Adrian: Beast In Black

Chris: Josh Middleton (Sylosis, Architects)

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Tim: Hellfest. Can you imagine having an artist pass with the 2022 lineup?? Good lord.

Adrian: Hellfest (with the condition that I get to play and attend the entire fest). I’d be dead by day 4 just from the pure excitement. Close 2nd would be 70,000 Tons of Metal. Who doesn’t like a nice Caribbean cruise ship holiday while getting to play to a great audience?

Chris: I’ve always been keen on Bloodstock Open Air in the UK. They always have amazing line-ups and I’ve been meaning to go there as a fan for ages – would be perfect to play there too!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Tim: Accidentally getting us banned from streaming platforms for a while. But we still love the guy.

Adrian: Nothing yet to my dismay. I hope to receive several strange offerings soon \m/

Chris: I honestly can’t think of anything in particular!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Tim: Eat your greens.

Adrian: Peoples’ time is such a precious commodity these days, so thank you for choosing to spend some of that valuable time listening to our music ^_^

Chris: Thank you so much for sticking by us and helping us fly the flag! Enjoy the new album and hope to see you soon! Keep supporting metal bands as best you can.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Tim: It must be Cliff Burton for me. Or Chris Cornell.

Adrian: Dimebag. Or Lemmy.

Chris: Dimebag. One more Pantera album with the guys at their mature prime would be perfection. RIP to an absolute legend.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Tim: Playing live is the absolute best part, when everything is flowing and you’re locked-in with your bandmates and the audience, the experience is transcendental. I hate playing by myself at home.

Adrian: That special moment jamming (studio or live) where something just “clicks” and you look at each other and feel that electricity. Pet hate is 10-minute changeovers with no opportunity for a decent soundcheck >_<

Chris: Playing live to a full crowd who are fully into what they are hearing is hard to beat. The writing process is so rewarding though, there is no better high than writing a riff/beat/vocal line/piece that gives you butterflies and goosebumps when you listen to it back. Priceless.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Tim: Streaming royalties.

Adrian: Having more support and relief avenues globally for artists and musicians which are smaller or mid-range to weather storms like the last 2 and a half years have been. I’ve seen the devastation of the pandemic on friends who are professional entertainers, and we can’t have that happen again.

Chris: It’s insatiable appetite for overly promoting bad “commercial” music rather than giving hard working talent the resources and exposure everyone deserves.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Tim: Mastodon- “Blood Mountain”

Adrian: Megadeth – “Youthanasia”

Chris: Metallica – “… And Justice For All”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?

Tim: It depends on the context, all of them have their place and things that they do better than the others (except maybe cassette ha ha ha!). As a physical object, vinyl for sure. For general listening, it’s hard to beat the convenience of streaming/downloads. But there’s nothing like trawling through an old box of records/CDs or perusing the shelves of music stores for hidden treasures.

Adrian: Suppose it depends on the situation. Downloads are most convenient, especially with the space saving it provides. I’d still have to say my preference is CD. My physical music collection exists pretty much 99% in CD format.

Chris: I’m all about the recent vinyl resurgence and have a turntable and an ever-expanding vinyl collection. They sound excellent and album artwork always looks 100 times better on an LP than a small CD or cassette. I still have all my CDs but wouldn’t choose to buy one nowadays with vinyl back on the shelves.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Tim: Ramfest when we opened for Killswitch Engage and Trivium, and Corey Beaulieu scampered to the side of the stage to watch us jam Holy Wars. The Gandalfs Farewell gig holds a special place in my heart too, partially because of the strong emotions at that show (saying goodbye to a legendary Cape Town venue), and because it felt like we absolutely ripped that night.

Adrian: The one that sticks in my mind the most was the album release show for Where Serpents Conquer. Energy was off the charts and just felt unstoppable.

Chris: Ramfest 2014 is hard to beat. Opening for both Trivium and KSE on the same night in front of an amazing crowd was a dream come true. I’d choose that show over Wacken 2013 just because our performance was better. Playing in front of over 8000 people in Germany was life changing.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Tim: Being a musician exclusively is a rare thing these days, but if I wasn’t thinking about music at all, I’d devote more time to filmmaking and naps.

Adrian: I’d love to sell musical instruments if I wasn’t actively making music. That or run a guesthouse or Airbnb business.

Chris: Life would be exceedingly boring without music in my life but becoming an expert pizza maker would be close second.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Tim: Adrian has spent a lot of time pondering this over the years, and probably has a super profound answer. I’ll keep my bad answer at living people: Bruce Campbell, David Lynch, Kirk Hammett, Donald Glover, and Carol Kaye.

Adrian: Only 5??? I have a massive list of living people (constantly updating) who I’d love to have over for dinner. Impossible to narrow it down, so taking a random sample. They include David Attenborough, Shigeru Miyamoto, Terry Crews, Roger Federer, Alice Cooper.

Dead list is probably a little shorter. They would be Neal Peart, Desmond Tutu, JRR Tolkien, Dr Christiaan Barnard, Stan Lee

Chris: James Hetfield, Ricky Gervais, Joe Rogan, Eric Cantona and Liam Gallagher. Biblical.

What’s next for Infanteria?

Chris – Our new album, Patriarch, comes out on 17 June and we’re buzzing for everyone to hear it. Things are still in-the-air with plans after we release as I live in the UK and the rest of the guys are in South Africa, so we’ll see what comes our way. We’ll definitely continue to write music though.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Chris: You don’t get Jaffa Cakes in South Africa! I’ve had them in the UK though and I’d say they’re more a cake than a biscuit … surely not crumbly enough!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Chris: Thanks so much for having us and we hope you all enjoy our new single ‘Embrace the Trauma’, which comes out on 3 June and the new album ‘Patriarch’ on 17 June. Follow all our socials for more info https://linktr.ee/infanteria

Infanteria Promo Pic

Infanteria is a three-piece Progressive Thrash Metal Band from Cape Town, South Africa and Manchester, UK. Currently independent, the band released two studio albums with Burning Tone Records, with their third album, ‘Patriarch’, due for release Friday 17 June 2022. Formed in 2005 by Vocalist & Guitarist Chris Hall, and his brother Rob, Infanteria managed to thrash through the high school party years to release their 2013 debut ‘Isolated Existence’. The release saw Bassist Tim Leibbrandt join the fold, propelling the band to win the Wacken Metal Battle South Africa Competition that year, affording them the opportunity to play at the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany alongside Rammstein, Motörhead, Meshuggah, and many more!

Upon their return to South Africa, the band was direct support for Killswitch Engage and Trivium at Ramfest SA 2014. The following year, their critically acclaimed sophomore album ‘Where Serpents Conquer’ was released with Adrian Langeveld taking over behind the Drums. The group subsequently enjoyed extensive touring of South Africa. With Chris emigrating to the UK in early 2020, and the arrival of the pandemic, sessions for the band’s next album were put on hold. Two years later, the Thrash Metal Trio is now set to return, revitalised and ready to unleash ‘Patriarch’, their long-awaited third album. A mature expansion on their previous releases, ‘Patriarch’ shows the full development of Infanteria’s progressive metal sound from hardcore crossover runaways like ‘Embrace the Trauma’ to rich sonic opuses such as ‘Swansong’.

LINKS:


Innasanatorium – Odyssey Of The Mind

Odyssey Of The Mind Album Cover Art

Innasanatorium – Odyssey Of The Mind
Self-Released
Release Date: 10/07/2021
Running Time: 54:02
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Hailing from Perth, Innasanatorium (great name by the way) are a Progressive Thrash influenced Modern Metal outfit unleashing their debut on the world. Thematically conceptual rather than a story-driven concept album in itself, the record deals heavily with issues of mental health both positive and negative, as well as the usual political ire beloved of all things Thrash.

For a self-produced record the sound and production are rich, deep and lavish. So many debuts have great tracks that are lost in unprofessional recording techniques and penny-pinching, but not so this one. It’s beautifully captured, and brings those well-crafted and technically proficient tracks to the fore. The modern metal flavour brought by having a fairly broad range of singers (three no less, one of who is the band’s manager) gives their sound the kind of luxuriance that bands normally take a few albums to get into their stride with, by which time they are normally starting to scrape the bottom of the song catalogue. In this case you have the cream of their repertoire, but with the kind of production normally only found when a major label is throwing everything at a new signing.

And let’s not leave the song-writing and arrangements out of this. Again this has the feel of an album that has been properly pre-produced professionally, with the arrangements tightened and honed to precision. The technical proficiency in the Prog side of things is fairly formidable too, and does not stop the flow of the songs to the ear, which is why I think this has been pre-produced so well. It’s a different feel from what you get when that tightness has had its birth in songs which have had a few years of live playing to hone down the unnecessary elements. Each and every song on here is well-crafted and flows, and before you know it fifty-five minutes has passed in a blur of beautifully melodic yet brutal riffage interlaced with effortlessly fluid solos in a sauce of heaviness and moodiness that is quite distinctive and fresh.

This record manages to pull the trick off of being both melodically enticing in the instrumental department, whilst brutal and dark in the rhythmic structures and tones. Add to this a really well-balanced use of a scale of vocals from extreme (but intelligible) to the clean and high with many stops in between and you have one of the strongest unsigned debut’s I’ve heard in a while, and a band that has found their clear and distinctive sound early.

‘Show Me Your Scars’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Intro
02. Show Me Your Scars
03. The Decline (Odyssey Of The Mind Part 1)
04. Night Terrors
05. Shifting Shadows
06. The Despair (Odyssey Of The Mind Part 2)
07. Innasanatorium
08. Science In The House Of God
09. The Desire (Odyssey Of The Mind Part 3)
10. Accelerated Oblivion
11. Outro

LINE-UP:
Adam Bomb McDonald – Vocals
Ryan Pearce – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Rapid Man – Guitars
Metal C (Tim) – Bass
Justin Sanity (Kelvin) – Backing Vocals

LINKS:

Innasanatorium Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Internal Conflict – A P O R I A

A P O R I A Album Cover Art

Internal Conflict – A P O R I A
PHD
Release Date: 09/07/2021
Running Time: 40:15
Review by Simon Black
9/10

It’s always heart-warming when a band from my erstwhile neck of the woods gets to that next level. Internal Conflict are one of those bands that has taken their winning slot from Metal To The Masses to the Bloodstock New Blood Stage in 2013 and absolutely run with it, returning to the Sophie stage a few years later and pulling in a record deal along the way. For many that triumphant first day at Bloodstock is as high as it goes, but these Leicester boys have taken things forward with energy, determination and sheer bloody mindedness and they are going to be back playing the Sophie Lancaster Stage this year. With a full album and an EP already under their belt, it’s been several years since we heard anything from them and if the quality of the material on here is anything to go by, they have spent those last three years wisely, crafting a sophomore album that feels natural, fresh and thoroughly Modern. As is so often the case with bands with a Progressive streak, they’ve managed the writing and recording process themselves, utilising the not inconsiderable talents of producer Neil Hudson (Krysthla) for the mixing and mastering. And it doesn’t sound like he came in at the end of the process either, which tells me that these chaps have learnt the value of a pre-production process themselves – no easy trick for a band to master, but master it they have.

The music continues the themes of darkness and challenge that have been their stock in trade over the years, with recent global events having added plenty of fuel to the lyrical fire. It’s moody, it’s angry and it’s thoroughly brilliant. Add to this an incredible fresh Melo-Death mixed vocal style that works brilliantly over the complex Progressive instrumental delivery and what I have in my hands is one of the strongest records of the year so far.

Opening with the brutally emphatic rhythmic pounding of ‘Kingdom Of Apathy’, this is an album that does not pull its punches. ‘Paresthesia’ has a brutal and complex cacophony of beats and melodies that is both dizzying and focussed simultaneously, and the technically blistering tightness of ‘Atlas Down’ is unrelenting brutality at its best. This is heavy as fuck Prog Metal in a way I’ve never come across before – it shouldn’t work but it absolutely does. The album keeps the anger and energy throughout its forty minutes as well without sounding repetitive, but throws in tempo shifts that completely contradict where the song started from, but brilliantly emphasis the lyrical content like the sudden reveal in a penultimate episode of a Netflix TV show. The album closer ‘Kayfabe’ is absolutely worth holding out for. The double-bass drum work, interlaced with an almost Gothic guitar and keys melodic interplay, but weaved across with some brutal shredding and a few moments of pause and grace make this one of the most rewarding and well-crafted songs on the record – plus it’s going to be a bugger to play live.

So please, if you are going to Bloodstock this year, please drag your hungover arse out of your tent for that opening graveyard Sunday morning Sophie slot, because it looks like it’s going to be an absolute doozy…

‘Bleed The Sky’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Kingdom Of Apathy
02. Paraesthesia
03. Atlas Down
04. Bleed The Sky
05. Hollow Heart
06. Traitorous
07. The Line
08. Kayfabe

LINE-UP:
Adam Kyle – Vocals
Sean Rice – Guitar, Synth
Matt Hall – Guitar, Clean Vocals
Dan Laffar – Bass
Chris Bentley – Drums

LINKS:

Internal Conflict Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Runescarred – The Distant Infinite

Runescarred – The Distant Infinite
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/2/2020
Running Time: 44:34
Reviewed by Tammy Lomax
9/10

Runescarred, from Austin, Texas, originally surfaced back in 2017 and, after one EP, they are now presenting us with their, recently released, head crushing debut album “The Distant Infinite”

‘Hexit’ is the ideal track to open the album. It draws you in when it begins with majestic twangs pulling you closer to the edge of your seat… then hard thrash kicks you straight in the face, totally unexpectedly! Ven Scott’s vein exploding vocals are delivered perfectly, screaming at you. You are up off your seat like a meerkat and your head bounces to the rhythm of the double kick drums. The skills on the fretboards by guitarists Tim Driscoll and Skunk Manhattan are right up my street, Gimme more…!

Bass opens ‘Inviting Rivers’ and I am all over Runescarred now! That creamy bass melts me straight away, if you know me, then you know. I love my bass! Familiar riffs, fast paced, thrash metal…and who doesn’t love a bit of thrash? Both guitarists compliment each other immensely. These guys work so well together and have a good sound. Next track ‘Minor Progressions’ hits me by complete surprise. Vocals are more power metal for sure, yet the heaviness remains. Runescarred are diverse and progressive in their ranges and they pull it off superbly. ‘Swallow Your Tail’ starts with some doom feels. A real good slow deep riff to get you into the flow of the track. I feel myself swaying and headbanging to the beat. The heaviness is just pure butter on toast, then the beautiful chorus hits my power spots. ‘Legionem Eclipsem’ is another fab track and is weighty. It has to be my least favourite just because it feels repetitive, more so than the other tracks on the album, but Runescarred still pull it off.

‘Twisting Flesh’ makes me feel I ought to applaud these fellas. At first, I felt the high notes in the vocals were slightly stretched and misplaced but then it all made sense when the riff came in and it worked. At the end of the repeated riff there is a slight switch in tempo between the bass and drums, this is also executed well. ‘This Distant Infinite’ is not what you expect, however, having listened to Runescarred now, the only advice I could give is expect the unexpected. It is short and sweet. The singular pulls from the strings and the fader follows a piano and it gives a Pink Floyd/Dave Gilmour kind of vibe. It’s a good breather. It flows straight in to ‘Sorrow Is’, more of a ballad, it reminds me of Tenacious D slightly. You feel the power and it’s pretty unreal to be honest. This is exactly what music is for me personally, when you can feel the emotions behind the music. Then ‘Poison Oasis’ begins and slams into a tech metal feel. You assume the album has become more chilled but then they pull this out the bag. Personally, I cannot say it enough, Runescarred are not just progressive, thrash or power etc, they are all of these and more, being strong in most genres. Although there are a couple of occasions where the vocals feel a little strained in the high register, it does not affect their sound, if anything it makes me fall in love with them more. Final track ‘Mammoth’ is awesome. They launch themselves back to how the album started, with their insane, and heavy, skills at the forefront! Although I felt the album was a little long in places, I feel they got their message across and they keep you on your toes.

All ten tracks on “The Distant Infinite” are executed and delivered very well. You cannot fault Runescarred and their hard work really shines through here. All in all, this is a great release, it has everything you need. It is fast in places, slower in others but also very melodic. It is full of passion and you can hear and feel the dedication and emotion in the lyrics. There are death metal roars and ripping power vocals, fast paced riffs, and slow guitar solos. Honestly, what more do you want? Runescarred are diverse but they have got the formulas down. Watch out for these guys. I totally recommend them.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Hexit
02. Inviting Rivers
03. Minor Progressions
04. Swallow Your Tail
05. Legionem Eclipsem
06. Twisting Flesh
07. This Distant Infinate
08. Sorrow Is
09. Poison Oasis
10.Mammoth

LINE-UP:
Ven Scott – Vocals
Tim Driscoll – Lead Guitar
Payton Holekamp – Drums
Josh Robins – Bass guitar
Skunk Manhattan – Lead Guitar

LINKS:
www.runescarred.com
www.facebook.com/runescarred
www.twitter.com/runescarredband
www.instagram.com/runescarred
www.youtube.com/channel/UCT7I_s6Xriv-V-wH2QbBn3Q

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.