Infamous is a black metal band that play a style that is very much its own. Not because there is an overt attempt at being unique, for the methods employed, the techniques used for structuring and playing are all very standard and even rudimentary. Uniqueness comes in the very specific articulations that result as a whole. Power chord themes and simple consonant melodies repeated in groups of four, drums which would not be out place in a heretical rock band, and drowned and sparse black metal screeches.
What may be harder for a traditional listener of black metal is the fact that there is no explicit attempt to evoke a sinister aura. Infamous, however, succeed more than explicitly satanic bands in creating an overall dismal atmosphere. For this atmosphere lies in the expanse and the depth created by a keen sensibility that alternates between low and high notes to provide contours in a simple but nonetheless eloquent speaking. Always technically austere drums carry and accompany the dynamics of the music from intense raw blasting to mid-paced support; these are always aware of their context despite the rough edges. Like Ildjarn, the savagery of the initial impression gives way to the sensibility of a being in tune with the motions of nature both hidden and visible.
§ A Sudden Breath of Air
It would not be inaccurate to describe Tempesta as the letting in of air, an intake of life which one has long been deprived of. This inhaling consists not so much as a flooding of the senses per se, because this is very subtle music despite its premises, but of a crumbling down of the illusory walls of mundane convention. Tempesta is both delightfully obscurantist as well as naturally exulting of the ecstasy of life in pain and pleasure.
Challenging to those most familiar with the orthodox sound of black metal is the rather happy and optimistic sounding melodies that are part of the style of Infamous. These may occasionally veer into almost childlike expressions of merriment, only to then turn to a more gravitas imbued tone. More often than not, however, the lighthearted tone in the melodic sense of Infamous leans towards the sober, giving way to stark depictions of wilful encounter with trials to be surmounted.
The aforementioned intake of life that Tempesta suscitates in the listener infuses clarity and purpose. A life-giving arousal of the senses that animates a holistic view of reality takes place that reveals not only a forest where we previously only saw trees, but also the overgrown paths to transcendence that moss, grass and bush have kept hidden from the inattentive mundane and ignorant profane.
§ An Interpretation of the Signs
When a music is not only complimented but enhanced and reaffirmed through the visual artwork chosen to accompany it and the statements of the artist, one is given a hint of its honesty and quality. Concomitant meaning born from a profound and clear vision brings forth the acausal into the causal through the nexion that the artist as a new type of human being is. Here is given a separation between those that may fulfill the potential that human beings possess, and those that are little more than glorified apes.
The man, the entity, behind this project is a declared anti-modernist who sees in black metal “a fire that burns inside of you! It is a weapon against weakness, a spiritual enlightenment, and the hammer that smashes this world of worms and disgusting merchants.”1 While some may see this as misanthropy and will thus immediately brush it off dismissively in a trained mental act of prejudicial blockage, a few will empathise and understand this elitist mentality of an extreme love of life.
“Misanthropy is thus, like nihilism, something that initially seems like a blanket condemnation of a category — humankind or values, respectively — but turns out to be a highly selective system of finding only the meaningful in those groups by denying their objective absolute status as law.”
—Brett Stevens, Nihilism, ‘Exploring Nihilism’
When we come to see all this in conjunction with the music, its waves and patterns acquire a new dimension by mere virtue of the appearance of a new element in its context. The clashing of waves against rocks as seen on the cover artwork of Tempesta against a striking gray sky in a scene of perpetual crepuscularity.
“in the cycle of the first caste, war was justified by spiritual motives, and showed clearly its value as a path to supernatural accomplishment and the attainment of immortality by the hero (this being the motive of the ‘holy war’)”
—Julius Evola, The Metaphysics of War, ‘The Forms of Warlike Heroism’
“Lascia agli altri le vie dell’infamia”
1 Death Metal Underground, Interview: Infamous (2015). You can read the full interview here.