MagnaCult are a new band to me, despite their first release being in 2007. The Dutch groove/death metallers are about to throw album number three at us – Infinitum.
There are twelve tracks on the album, though two of them are fairly simple laid back instrumentals and really seem at odds with the rest of the album which is a stonking, headbanging, air-guitaring, noisy affair. So “Be Freed By Death” (less so) and “Schwatt Matt” (very much more so) aside, we have something which lives up to both groove and death tags.
The band waste no time in getting things going with “Righteous Murder” (check it out below) which slams the gates open like something Morbid Angel would unleash. The initial blast settles down a little as a more groovy beat kicks in alongside the harsh vocals, but the unrelenting drumbeats continue throughout. This is a song that hates you and it wants you to know it. It’s definitely one of the more abrasive songs on Infinitum, with even the middle eight having hacksaw guitar tones where more melodic bands may have opted for a gentle sidestep.
“I’m Chosen”‘s arrhythmic intro continues into the track proper with a slightly odd beat and a slower overall number which brings in the heavy. It’s the album’s title track that really throws you for a loop, though, with gentle acoustic sections accompanied by clean female vocals. These bounce back and forth with the heavier choruses, giving the kind of sensation you get at a musical where two characters are having a sung conversation. Unusual and a bit of a gamble on MagnaCult’s part, but ultimately it does come across well.
The best song on the album, though, is the unnamed bonus track. It’s not listed on the sleeve at all, and there’s no mention in the promo bumph but it’s a fast-paced number which should have pits circling faster than something that goes round very fast and kills you.
While Infinitum‘s more original sections are a little quirky, they do work and the safer middle ground material is nicely brutal. We have a band that’s not afraid to experiment, but has the sense to make that the exception so that core fans will have plenty to like about this third outing.
Header image by Smooth Sailor Photography
Infinitum is out on May 12th