Infera Bruo examine personal inventory, transformation on rushing ‘Rites of the Nameless’

This last year has left us a lot of time to do things perhaps we didn’t before when we were constantly on the go and trying to scrape out time to be around the homestead, much less present in our own emotions. Taking time to sink into that giant chasm that is our own essence can be a gigantic challenge, but if handled responsibly, the other side is brighter.

That’s a bit of a strange segue into “Rites of the Nameless,” the great new record from Infera Bruo that definitely has its corners that revel in total darkness. But for this, their fourth album and second for Prosthetic, the music tackles the ideas of inner turmoil and self-reflection, with the album title referring to an ancient ritual that is used to transform the spirit and the flesh. That makes this record one that sometimes feels like a raging storm hammering your psyche but in others lets the mind clear and take on some of that hard work as the band—vocalist/guitarist Galen Baudhuin, bassist Chris Danecek, synth/keyboard player Robin Amos, drummer Alex Fewell—unfurls atmospheric black metal that jolts your brain’s chemical impulses.

“The Breath of Chaos” starts the record charging hard as vicious shrieks rain down, and the guitar work turns spellbinding. Cleaner singing arrives over the chorus, while the song pulls back just a bit before dipping into power again. Rage later erupts with the drums storming and the riffs stampeding, igniting with chaos as it burrows into the night. “Latent Foe Arcane” awakens in a melodic flurry as riffs whip by and Baudhuin’s furious shrieks are in full assault. Singing mixes in with the harsher vocals as fluid darkness spills in, and power rushes. A quick respite with colder melodies changes the scenery for a minute before the track bursts anew and spits shrapnel. “Frayed” begins with even darker tones before the shrieks rupture any sense of peace, and things then speed up before taking on a tempered pace. Vocals knife in as the drums come to life again, as mind-altering riffs dash toward the finish.

“Cimmerian Shade” is one of the better songs in the band’s catalog, and it dawns with murky synth and a heavy cloud cover. Then the punches land as Baudhuin howls, “No light will reach me!” as black metal majesty unfurls. Melodic passages crush as a new dose of savagery opens previously scabbed wounds, while clean calls gather, growls spindle, and the pace then catches fire and melts inhibitions. “Mining Shadows for Unlight” blasts apart as the shrieks pummel, and a glorious chorus makes your head rush. Things get moody and sinister as singing and shrieks combine and deface sanity, while guitars churn, and that nasty chorus comes back and exacts revenge on you. The title track gets off to a grim, ominous start as the vocals slash in, and speedy black metal rushes the shores. Soloing strikes early and burns through the fields as group vocals mesmerize, and the playing clobbers you amid a trance. Guitars bring dizziness while the band pitches together again as their voices carry, while the guitars stun. Keys then warm up as chants glow, and Baudhuin wails, “Speaking through the veil, rites of the nameless,” as the final moments bend time.

Chaos literally is everywhere. For real, think about your life even a year ago and imagine the events of the past couple weeks. The turmoil and madness are thick and disgusting, and Infera Bruo may not be directly tapping into the events, but on “Rites of the Nameless,” they lay this out in front of you and challenge you to cope. It’s not impossible, but it’s a challenge that we must face, and this music pushes us right in that direction, for our own good.

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