Forcefield Records 2009
Noisy black metal filtered through a crusty punk attitude is what Philadelphia's Infernal Stronghold is all about. The tracks are lightning quick and the tempo is intensely speedy as well. Kicking off the album with a raw passion and a frantic pace is Curb The Trend. The drums are rapid fire and border on reckless disregard as they blister along. On Taghut they slow it down into doomy realms though the song is still covered in tar and pitch and quickly explodes into a firestorm of hyper drumming only to then drift back into lethargic realms once again. Crashing Trucks into Churches exists within Transilvanian Hunger styled melodies and a cacophonous tempest of crashing cymbals. The title track ratchets up the force as it hits with the speed and brutality of middle-era Marduk but without the tightness. Nordic disharmony surfaces in A Dog You Call God and then smashes fist first into a bouncy, almost death metal rhythm. An actually catchy riff is the driving force of Snorting The Ruins of Sodom. The track quickly drifts into some Celtic-Frost-through-Darkthrone-blackening midtempo grooves. As a nod to the band's ideological roots, the album's closer is titled Buried by Grim and Crust and is an ashen furnace of mutated punk and black metal. Eddie Chainsaw's vocals are noisy and sound as if his throat is coated in blisters. Sometimes the noisy and trebly production reduces the tracks into a rumble topped with hissing cymbals. Infernal Stronghold's second album is a tsunami of intense black metal but without the trappings of metal attitude instead resorting to a more apocalyptic crust punk slant. So if you like your black metal married to Discharge and then played at warp speed then Infernal Stronghold is definitely for you.