Fear of the Dark
-- Infinite Spectrum --
[THE PICK-UP]The folks at Hardlife Promotion did it again. This is another awesome album they've sent over for me to shred through! And this was a long, awesome shred! That's all for the pick-up line, let's do this!
[THE SHREDDING BASICS]Haunter of the Dark is the second full-length release from the New York based progressive metal band Infinite Spectrum and it succeeds their well-received 2013 album Misguided.
The album contains 8 songs of well-fleshed out progressive metal featuring naturally sung vocals and technical guitar riffs spiced up by keyboards and some sudden tempo changes in many of the songs. There are tunes like Fear and the album's title track that are fast and hard-hitting while others like The Stranger Things I've Learned and All That We See sound more relaxing.
The tracks are also rather long, another common feature for the prog metal subgenre. The album's fourth track, The Church, takes the lead here as it clocks in slightly over the 18 minute mark. That may sound like a drag, but it doesn't bother me personally as the song, like all other tunes on this record, get me sucked in because of how compelling everything is composed and sung. There's never a dull moment, and the band provides enough variety in terms of pace, riffs, atmosphere and vocals to give you a sense of a story been told through various chapters.
Speaking of the story...
[THE PARK OF THEMES]Haunter of the Dark is based on H.P. Lovecraft's short story of the same name. You don't know Lovecraft? Then I suggest you check out this legendary American writer immediately, especially if you enjoy dark fantasy tales featuring mythical, nightmarish creatures residing in the dark corners of the earth and seas. Who said literature can't be cool?
Anyway, the album follows the story of Robert Blake, a young writer who returns to his hometown of Providence (located in the American state of Rhode Island) and is drawn towards an abandoned church on top of Federal Hill. In the church he finds an ancient artifact and upon trying to take it, Blake awakens a creature of darkness who will kill him as soon as he would be surrounded by total darkness. As such, Blake flees the church and hides from the beast in the safe, always lit town of Providence.
The album delves into every act from the story. Starting from the moment Robert Blake returns to Providence and becomes obsessed with Federal Hill, to the part he breaks into the church and encounters the infernal monster and his narrow escape from the creature's clutches. Eventually the story and albums ends with the beast managing to kill Blake during a nighttime power failure that caused all of Providence to fall into total darkness thus finally allowing the creature to take Blake's soul.
[THE VISION OF DEVASTATION]I didn't receive much in terms of artwork, so I'm only judging the front cover for this review.
On the front we've got an eerie, green picture of the inside halls of the Federal Hill church. In the middle we've got Infinite Spectrum's logo and on the right we've got some cryptic runes. It's a stylish yet mysterious and even slightly threatening looking cover. I sense that something's watching me from that cover! Better not leave it in total darkness!
[THE SHARPEST SHREDS]Fear, the seventh track on Haunter of the Dark, is my top choice. It's the fastest and heaviest song on the track list, in fact, I believe me and some other folks will be able to mosh to that tune if it's been played live!
The 18 minute epic the Church is another favorite. At times aggressive and at times relaxed, the track perfectly represents what goes through Robert Blake's mind as he ventures through the church in search for the artifact and his encounter with the creature that will eventually cause his demise.
[THE SHREDDER'S SCORECARD]9 dimensional Shamblers out of 10! It took me a while to fully cover this album, but I'm damn glad I did. Infinite Spectrum's Haunter of the Dark is a captivating album that drags you inside its Lovecraftian world from the first minute and only lets go of you once it has finished its 70-minute runtime. So basically...
You like prog metal? Get this! You like H.P. Lovecraft? Get this! You don't care about either prog metal or Lovecraft and just want a good album? Get this! Now fear the dark!