Label: Forcefield Records
Released: July 2009
Release Type: LP/CD Full Length
Further quenching my thirst for the blasphemous cacophony that is Infernal Stronghold is their second full length album aptly titled Godless Noise. As with all their releases I've encountered, the LP of Godless Noise is wrapped in a beautiful package. Gorgeous printed matte jacket covered in obscure and endless details as well as necessary information (song titles and the like). The inner jacket is a slick glossy picture on one side and lyrics and legal info on the other side. Offering to be limited to 700 and only 12 bucks i can't see how anyone could pass this up. I'm sure the cd is just as nice, although to quote the guys themselves "10 songs, 27 minutes. Sounds waaayy better on vinyl."
Now with the music. Infernal Stronghold retain their taste for a rough production that sounds organic, powerful, and cacophonous, but never hazy and obscuring. They have found a perfect match of old school European d-beat mixed with 90's Norwegian black metal and an overall polish that comes from the competence and understanding of a modern day, level headed engineer. The vocals are vicious and strained, mid-range black metal rasps, to crusty shouts, all dirty and raw. The guitars shred through thrashy riffs amidst a razorwire mesh of distortion and static, leaving the bass to be support and the unadulterated drums to maintain its own space. The dirty and thrashy vibe, coupled with the black metal vocals and aesthetic tied to the punky sections cement this lp as heads above the rest.
For the most part, the songs are short and varied blasts of blackened thrashcore(think of Anti-Cimex collaborating with Horna playing old Sodom songs or something along those lines) that manipulate fast sections of blast beats to d-beats, to mid-paced thrash affairs and all that lies in between. "Crippling Blasphemous Persistence" stands to be the most black metal track offered on the album, a catchy tremolo picked riff coupled with a powerful blast beat carry the song and even a slower section with a very somber riff that highlights Infernal Stronghold's arsenal of tricks and abilities; this track is probably my favorite on the album.
Infernal Stronghold do an excellent job of mixing all elements to their sound equally, creating a unique sound that stays true to the title Urban Blasphemy. The lyrics offer commentary on(against) religion, political/societal issues, as well as personal and interpersonal issues. I found the lyrics to be quite good and refreshing when compared with countless bands spewing fuck yous or fuck religion; a bit more introspective than that.
Infernal Stronghold are geniune with their music and don't look to impress anyone or do anything for anyone else besides themselves and their fans. Support them and buy their shit, nice guys and great merch that's dirt cheap. Buy here for the LP/CD, and here for older releases/merch.