Infraktor – Exhaust (2018) REVIEW

The art of modernizing thrash metal can go in any number of directions: It can be done with production values and insertion of outside genres (see: Kreator pulls from melodeath), or it can be done with groove metal in an attempt to access the masses that seek metal purely for it’s more accessible points of aggression. Infraktor don’t make an artful attempt at death/thrash and instead go for the grooving, powerful sound that resembles something close to Invocator‘s later work with spastic groove riffing and forceful production values. So, even if the morbid arts aren’t represented in their style or aesthetics Infraktor‘s debut full-length ‘Exhaust’ pulls from a chuggingly raw legacy of Portuguese groove/thrashers.

In fact a couple ex-members of Pitch Black, one of Portugal’s fairly hidden thrashers, lend their guitar and drum work to Infraktor. Though Pitch Black were likewise groove-metal influenced their album ‘Hate Division’ from 2009 still feels like a distant cousin of ‘Exhaust’ nearly ten years later. The mix is the first thing you’ll notice in firing up this record and it seems geared towards fans of the loud 00’s roar of groups like Legion of the Damned and Dew-Scented with a bit more focus on what I’d consider ‘expected’ groove metal riffs. The guitar work sort resembles what I call melodeath/groove where a fine line between Ektomorf and modern Exodus exist and that mechanized feeling is ultimately what kept me from fully warming up to ‘Exhaust’. Maybe I’m a snob, but I want something slightly less sterilized.

If you’re into the death/thrash that has formed in the middle-tier popular metal circles since The Haunted broke out big but want something that never touches alternative metal then this’d likely light your fire. Infraktor play an absolutely intense ‘all in’ form of death/thrash that is more concerned with kicking your head in rather than writing catchy or dark music that you’ll remember. Because they don’t fuck around with nuance and focus on simple and moshable aggression it wasn’t a perfect match for me, but I appreciate how fully they attack each song. If you are geared towards the groove metal influenced spectrum of death/thrash this should be a decent entry in that niche for you.

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Artist Infraktor
Type Album
Released March 2, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Rastilho Records Bandcamp! Follow Infraktor on Facebook
Genres
Thrash Metal, Groove Metal, Death Metal

No forces to restrain. 2.5/5.0

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