Infection - The Cryptic Homicides

Infection is a relatively unknown band from Lima, Peru that have been quiet for a while, but finally thunder back since 2014 with their third full length album, “The Cryptic Homicides.” Following a pattern of Brutal Death Metal with melodic elements, listeners will find themselves engorged on this early Cannibal Corpse meets Obituary mix that is just a 2 piece with live members filling in for any shows. Started in 2006, guitarist Antonio Palacios and vocalist Guiliano Canessa have kept the band running under the radar, but hopefully “The Cryptic Homicides” will finally garner some attention now that it is on the label Gate of Horror Productions, a first for the band. Fans should expect to find a lot groove mixed with gruesome and while the album does kind of read like a typical Cannibal Corpse release meets early Vulvodynia with the imagery and song titles, the band tries to carve out their own sound as best they can.

Tracks like ‘Sodomy At The Morgue’ and ‘Blow-Torched’ feature the typical Death Metal chug and blast beats that fans have grown to love along with the guttural, but discernible vocals, but it is the guitar solos that will really attract listeners. They come in slow, melodic, and almost Doom laden, like My Dying Bride would do. If Canessa traded in his grunt for some mournful singing, Infection could easily cross over into Doom. Thankfully, such as on ‘Blow-Torched’ before the morose moments go on too long, things kick back up into high gear with the more Death Metal style. Infection tries their best not to be the fastest or more aggressive band on the block but rather aim for mostly slow, to mid pace, letting the guitar work really be the focus of the music along with the vocals. While the drums were programmed and not live, they still sound clear in the mix alongside the bass/ guitar work from Palacios who tries to saturate the music in as much groove as he can to balance out the brutality. For those who enjoy more melody, the guitar solo/ interlude on ‘Fetus In Fetu’ is an excellent listen and almost borders the likes of more progressive acts like Death. While aggressive, it is still a fun track to headbang to as Infection keeps the urge to mosh at bay.

The restraint of the band is admirable but also seems to hurt them a little in their deliverance. Track after track is a well crafted experience, but when listening to the album the band tends to stay in the middle ground. It is hard when hearing a track like ‘Jackhammer Trepanation’ that it sounds like it should be a full on mosh incursion, but the delivery is so groove heavy and melodic that one can’t help but headbang to it, and though on tries to get the urge to mosh they just can’t quite get into it. Vocals are mostly guttural grunt with some higher pitched snarls, but mostly a one sided delivery throughout the album. Thankfully there are a few ‘fast tracks’ with little mosh mood interrupts like ‘Deranged Surgeon’ and ‘Nest Of Vicious Roaches’ which will appeal to the likes of more classic Cannibal Corpse sounds as it grunts and grinds its way through the ear with no remorse. Even with its slower breakdown, it still hits harder than the other tracks.

Listeners should approach the album overall as a fast ride with slow burn moments in between that can serve as a little bit of a breather despite breaking momentum. Compared to their last album, Infection have a little more depth and ‘oomph’ to their music, and while not as lengthy as their debut back in 2009, at least they’ve cut the fat out and trimmed down their music to the right length of time. While some might say “The Cryptic Homicides” isn’t as heavy as it could be and lacks the brutality of some of the bands they emulate, many will also appreciate the level of melodic touches and groove (almost Doom stomping) that makes Infection stand out a bit more than the average cookie cutter Death Metal band.

3.5 / 5 STARS

1. Sodomy At The Morgue
2. Your Pain, My Pleasure
3. A Nest Of Vicious Roaches
4. Sick And Depraved
5. Deranged Surgeon
6. Fetus In Fetu
7. Barbaric Hysterectomy
8. Merciless Punishment
9. Blow-Torched
1. Jackhammer Trepanation
11. The Cryptic Homicides