INFESTED ANGEL: Submit To Death
Release year: 2022
Hailing from Birmingham, England – the birthplace of heavy metal, considering both Black Sabbath and Judas Priest came from there – Infested Angel are a relatively newcomer death metal trio. Submit To Death is only their second release – but don’t expect much fumbling in their sound!
Stylewise, the trio cast their eyes westward, over the Atlantic ocean: the classic US death metal of yore is where Infested Angel draw their inspiration from. However, they mix things up a bit by throwing in some more Swedish elements and a touch of black metal here and there. The result isn’t exactly original, but it makes things a bit more interesting.
The down-tuned, murky sound and ultra-guttural vocals instantly bring to mind one name: Incantation. I’m willing to bet Infested Angel have spent copious amounts of time listening to the US legends of doomed death metal, but not only that. There’s a riff here and there than brings to mind the twisted work of Trey Azagthoth and Morbid Angel, and I’d say that if you throw in a reference to early Immolation, you’ve got yourselves a pretty good idea of what Infested Angel’s sound is based on.
But then comes along Eden. It took me a while, but then it struck me: Amon Amarth. This is like a down-tuned, slightly slowed-down take on the Swedes’ sound. But, and kudos to Infested Angel here, not as boring.
As said above, originality isn’t exactly Infested Angel’s strong point. You can pick apart the songs and spot lots of pretty obvious nods in this and that direction, and more than once the listener will think “oh, this riff sounds JUST like band X” or “well, this section sure reeks of band Y”. And maybe it’s here that Infested Angel’s relatively short history makes itself shown: though very convincingly put together, their brand of death metal still hasn’t quite found its own character.
Lack of originality notwithstanding, Submit To Death is a strong mini-album by a band that shows a lot of promise. I really, really dig the core concept of their sound, a slightly blackened take on Incantation-style brutal death metal with doom elements. Some of the influences are a bit on the nose, but as the trio go forward and establish their own identity with greater confidence, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this issue fix itself.
In the meantime, Submit To Death is a very enjoyable slab of death metal. Clocking in at a modest 27 minutes, including intro and outro, you’ll gladly spin this a couple of times in a row.