Infernäl Mäjesty - No GodI originally wrote a bit about how thrash already has monster output, despite it being so early in the year. Then someone stole my thunder. [Ooopsies! – Dr. A.N. Grier]. Despite the ensuing scalpel duel, I do concur with my fellow doctor. From Kreator to Sepultura and every re-thrash act in between, this year intends to chase 2016 down and crush its skull, Whiplash-style. Now the thawing Canadian tundra has to spit out Infernäl Mäjesty to bloody this party up. Exiting hibernation after over a decade, the old farts celebrate the big 3-0 with the fiery malice of No God.

“Enter the World of the Undead” christens the album with an unqualified success. Jackhammer beats and scalding vocals accompany riffs blackened in both tone and drive, tumbling from one passage to the next with only an occasional fill or bassline as mortar. Sporting shades of Deströyer 666 and Hobbs’ Angel of Death, the hellacious atmosphere never relents. Even when throttling down to a groove-backed solo, enduring rolls of bass pedal ensure the music cannot truly be called “slow.” “In God You Trust” opens moments away from a classic Schuldiner riff but pulls back to the prior track’s missing midtempo. Dual-wielding ferocity and hooks familiar to any Deströyer 666 fan, “In God You Trust” and follow-up “Signs of Evil” emulate the Australians’ ability to structure tracks rather simply while remaining vibrant and fresh. Chris Bailey injects a smoky malcontent into enunciated echoes that ply catchiness and savagery in equal measure. His cutthroat cadence on “No God” sets alight a track that alone might have seen Infernäl Mäjesty’s chorus-heavy formula wear thin.

In walking the same general path from track to track, No God runs the risk of invoking the biggest no-no of all AMG tropes: shit gets “samey.”1 Infernäl Mäjesty do indeed hammer the same nail over and over again, though not to the point of cracking the board. Individuality is sacrificed in the name of overall theming. While that sound often sparkles, the difficulty remains when attempting to highlight peaks. No God is marked by its consistent bustle, but that eliminates genre-bending change-ups or foot-stomping “Hounds at Ya Back”-esque anthems. In the moment, the album rarely fails to entertain but lacks development on subsequent listens. Listen No. 1 is roughly the same as listen No. 10. Run times, as seems to be par for the genre now (thanks, Metallica), live in territory beyond five minutes. This results in a mixed bag, with material both succeeding and burning out as the clock strikes 5. “Systematical Extermination” and “Extinction Level Event” highlight long-track chops, but closing “Another Day in Hell” with nearly three minutes of tepid soloing and half-assed builds does nothing for me.

Infernäl Mäjesty 2017

While the temptation to ride off into a jet-black midnight like Hobbs’ Angel of Death’s recent release is ever-present, the Canadians remain true to their thrash roots. No God litters the stage with callbacks to Razor, Slayer, and Morbid Saint. The grammar Nazi in me grumbles in muted protest whenever “Systematical Extermination” flashes across my Now Playing bar, but I cannot deny its quality when deviating from standard genre operating procedure. “Kingdom of Heaven” sees the rumbling undercurrent of Daniel Nargang’s bass occupy the same space as Tormentor’s drum work for Desaster. Content to delight for only a moment, it keeps things fresh and spices up the blackened affair. Steve Terror and Kenny Hallman’s riffs do the bulk of the heavy lifting, and masterfully fuse beef thrash and scalding black metal takes. The production tends to accentuate the former. Though lacking the electricity of D666 or Hobbs’, it has taken a clear step forward in the last decade. The skins in particular excise their racketty qualities from One Who Points to Death, allowing drummer Kiel Wilson to bash the front of your skull in with a ball-peen hammer whenever he pleases.

When all’s said and done, Infernäl Mäjesty have carved a niche into an already crowded field. It may not surpass recent releases by the likes of D666 and Desaster, but No God brings an underground legend out of the wilderness and into the modern spotlight. If the band can finally maintain their positive momentum, it’s not hard to imagine a climb up the blackened thrash mountain. Fortunately, No God is an excellent base camp from which to embark.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: High Roller Records
Releases Worldwide: April 14th, 2017

Show 1 footnote

  1. Please don’t fire me, I put it in quotes.
  • Eldritch Elitist

    I thought the guy on the left was mostly obscuring a fourth band member in the back, and then realized that’s just his ear.

    • Fuck, dude.

      • Eldritch Elitist

        To be clear: I don’t think he has an abnormally large ear or anything, just that the ridiculously atmospheric lighting makes his ear not look like an ear at all.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          His ear looks like a long haired dude playing peek-a-boo!

        • Bas

          They do specialize in ridiculous pictures.. nobody remembers the band photos in ‘None shall defy’?
          Those were so funny..
          PS listened to the track: its ok.. (pity because non shall defy was soooooo cool).

    • Monkey Dogg

      I thought he had his back to the camera. That was pretty grim.

  • Ear is the mindkiller.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      Does this album get bonus points in your book for starting off with the lyrics “Steely wings of Armageddon”?

    • AgonMcDuck


  • defjam

    So cometh the (y)ear of thrash

  • rumour_control

    Great passage in a solid review. Thank you.
    “…Chris Bailey injects a smoky malcontent into enunciated echoes that ply catchiness and savagery in equal measure. His cutthroat cadence on “No God” sets alight…”

    • Dr. Wvrm

      Thank you very much.

  • Bas

    I am excited about this (can listen to the bandcamp tracks now). The many references to Hobbs (whick i am not crazy about) and the samey issue got me a bit worried though. Only Testament, Voivod and to a lesser degree Death Angel made good albums recently. All other new albums of old bands were disappointing to me…

    • Dr. Wvrm

      The reference to the recent Hobbs’ was meant to be complimentary, as I did that like album. If you didn’t, you might enjoy this as No God isn’t a mirror image of Heaven Bled.

      • Bas

        Ok. Dont worry I will check it out more seriously (they deserve it). Thanks for the review!!!

  • Westpaceagle

    Highly underwhelming. Off topic but the new Resurgency is a nice little DM platter. Just fyi

  • Westpaceagle

    Kidding not kidding, but No God is way to safe for a black metal-ish album though. I mean I’m not the kvlt police or anything, but atheism ain’t going to cut it; we need at minimum abject distain for all things Christian, but prefer rabid Satan worship.

    • basenjibrian

      Not a fan of Immolation’s “No Jesus, No Beast” then? (LOL)

      • Westpaceagle

        Atheism is an acceptable theme for Death Metal. Just not for Black Metal. It even says so in the Metal Regulations Manual, Vol 4, chapter 13, Section 666
        Am I the only one doing the readings??

        • basenjibrian

          I stand corrected! Hail Seitan!

          • Westpaceagle

            Hahaha omg where did that come from that’s awesome

          • basenjibrian

            Vegan Black Metal Chef is one note humor, but I love it in small doses! :)

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    No mention of the metal umlauts? I demand this review be pulled down and rewritten with mention of the metal umlauts.

  • Scourge

    Hm. Based on the embedded track alone, I’d say Onslaught does Onslaught better.

    • Dr. Wvrm

      I’m not in love with that track either, but it was the best of what was available. Had one of the openers or one of the longer tracks been up, I would have gone in that direction.

  • Excentric_13073

    The number of reasonably high DR scores this year has been shocking. Maybe we’ve turned a dynamic corner in the industry?

  • Hmm ripping off wumpscut. That’s. An interesting choice.