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Review of the Album "From the Black Swamp" by Infrared Canada’s Newest Veteran Thrash Metal Band

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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Why Infrared May Be Considered a New Band Even If They Are Not

Infrared is a thrash metal band from Ottawa, Ontario Canada that might as well be considered Canada’s newest veteran thrash metal band. From the Black Swamp released on September 30, 2021 is their third studio album and these guys go all the way back to 1985 and they were active until 1990. They reformed in 2014 and released three albums since then. In terms of the style, imagine a combination of Havok + Annihilator style vocals along with some Death Magnetic era Metallica and Iron Maiden and you get Infrared from Canada. If the band Terrifier was good, these guys are even better because they don’t just focus on breakneck speed.

About the Songwriting and Lead Vocal Style

For instance, the song called “No Master, No Gods” stylistically has that sort of Judas Kiss and The End of the Line feel to it and the bass sound is so clear. The chorus is so understandable so you can follow along with this song. “Lockdown” is also one of the strong songs on this release and the song is lyrically about the effects of gun violence in the cities. The bass sound is so clear that it makes you wonder what kind of equipment was used in the recording of this album. Whatever these guys used it clearly works in their advantage. I also notice that the third song has that little bit of melodic “Acid Reign” feel to it in one of the mid-sections. It is not a punk metal sound by any means even though Acid Reign might as well have been an influence in the development of the music of this Canadian band. If you need some kind of proof that the metal scene in Canada is actually growing, here it is. Even though Infrared are a veteran group that existed well before this new wave of thrash metal came into our view, they have contributed to the development of thrash metal in Canada. Bands such as Annihilator, Razor, Rush, and Voivod may have started to make heavy metal in Canada part of the musical culture there but when you add bands like Infrared into the mix, it gets that much better.

The lead vocals remind me of a mix of David Sanchez and Joe Comeau. In terms of the sound quality of From the Black Swamp, it is very likely and possible that some of you may notice that it could have been released even earlier like in 2008 because of the Death Magnetic era sound quality similarity to it. Then there are songs like “Evil Ascent” which slowly build up as the song is lyrically about hatred in the world being part of the human condition.

Final Thoughts About From the Black Swamp

Perhaps the only real con about the album is that the length of it may feel exactly as it is. For some people, 60+ minutes of melodic thrash metal may be too much even if the melodies are well written. Does Canada’s Infrared give us their best efforts with their third studio release? I have not heard their previous two albums but this is an example of how to compose thrash metal. The major highlights of this album are the first four songs but especially the first song “Tribal Junction."

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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