Release: October 18, 2019
Moldavian extreme metal sensation Infected Rain are getting ready to release their fourth studio album, “Endorphin”, this Friday, October 18, via Napalm Records. Fronted by powerhouse vocalist Lena Scissorhands, the band was formed in 2008, and soon after appeared at a number of festivals across Europe and released their debut EP titled “Judgemental Trap”. In the following years Infected Rain shared the stage with Mötley Crüe, Dimmu Borgir, Obituary, Behemoth, Sodom, Katatonia, The Agonist, and released three more albums, thus claiming their spot as one of Europe’s most exciting up-and-coming bands. Following the release of “Endorphin” the band will hit the road with Lacuna Coil and Eluveitie for a massive European tour.
Known for mixing hard and heavy riffs, pounding beats, and electronic samples with screamed vocals, Infected Rain fuse various musical styles from nu metal, metalcore, to melodic death metal into a style that is truly their own. They use downtuned guitars and bass guitars, as well as double bass drums for a thicker, more piercing sound, with the vocals range from high-pitched, fierce screams to death growls, clean singing and even some rapping parts from Lena.
The Earth mantra
Symphony of trust
That is quite a mix of various musical aspects, but it works incredibly well, because Infected Rain’s music is very well balanced, as opening track “The Earth Mantra” showcases. Generally, this track is a hard hitting song, with pounding drums and screamed vocals, but mid-way through the instrumental tones down to allow for a more poppish, breezy vibe to sweep in and let Lena’s sweet, melodic vocals shine better, accompanied mostly by a gently-sounding piano.
“Black Gold” is a relentless headbanger with a rather ominous backing atmosphere to it, and a subdued industrial vibe coming from the guitars and bass, while album highlight “Symphony of trust” seems like such a neat blend of symphonic metal and metalcore, as the chorus is hooky and breezy, and the breakdowns are brutal and intense. The fast-paced “Pendulum” ramps up the heaviness packing quite a punch, especially vocal-wise as Lena is roaring like a lioness, even though the chorus is quite light and sweet. The electronic overlays give this song a certain techno vibe that add texture and depth to the main melody. The groovy “Passerby” is another heavy cut, but here the pounding drums and thrashy guitars are more in the fore-front giving it more edge and bite, while the vocal lines are hooky and melodic. Faithful to its name, “Lure” is as hypnotic and intense, as it is crazy and edgy. Even though it’s the shortest track on the album, at only 2 minutes and 30 seconds, it’s also the most violent and groove-filled one.
Compared to the rest of the tracks on “Endorphin”, melodic cuts “Victims” and “Walking dead” feel like standard tracks, that somehow remind me of The Agonist (think of “The killing I” or “Dust to dust”), in terms of general structure of the songs, vocal delivery, that is the back and forth between cleans and growls, and the general fierceness of the instrumental side. “Taphephobia” (Greek for the fear of grave, fear of being buried alive) is more in character with Infected Rain as again the electronic overlays blend well with Lena’s screams and guitars, while the ethereal vocals mid track create a sense of surrealism. Despite the name, “Storm” is a very soothing and calm track that is the total opposite of anything Infected Rain have ever done. It’s an emotional song with a very soft melody to it, that closes this madness of an album on a serene note.
All in all, “Endorphin” is a very raw and powerful album, that has an undertone of rage and anger to it, mostly coming from Lena’s gritty vocal delivery. As pointed out at the beginning of this review, there is a great sense of balance in their music, which adds depth, variety, complexity, and dynamism to the record.
The band pushed the limits of the true-and-tested and often overused metal formulas, and delivered an album that is an engulfing experience rather than a simple sonic delight, and which will definitely solidify Infected Rain’s status and value in the modern metal community.
Pre-order the album at this link
Rating: 9 / 10
Elena “Lena Scissorhands” Cataraga – vocals
Vadim “Vidick” Ozhog – guitars
Vladimir Babici – bass
Serghei Babici – guitars
Eugen Voluta - drums