Death metal just got its first masterpiece.
“They come from all around the world to see my spectacle of filth.” screams lead vocalist Dickie Allen on the song “Swinaecologist”, and after this album, that may in fact be the case.
Infant Annihilator, made up of British musicians Aaron Kitcher (now on mostly programmed drums), Eddie Pickard (on electric and bass guitar duties), and the aforementioned Allen, an American, doing the greatest harsh style vocals you will ever hear in your life) is an internet band (they don’t play live…yet) that parodies the styles of death metal and deathcore but dials up to 666 with the most over the top, obscene and brutal sounding music imaginable. And for the most part they succeed in this effort. So much in fact that formerly heavy as hell bands like Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under now sound like Nickelback by comparison.
I mostly skipped the acts first album, as the vocalist was different and not as attention grabbing, but their second album, “The Elysian Grandeval Galeriarch” (which was the first with Dickie), was a standout record of 2017. I could not get over the inhuman sounding goblin like high shrieks and demonic guttural lows Allen was able to produce, nor the gargantuan heaviness of the music. Still, despite how impressive that album was it possessed a certain level of ridiculousness and lack of refinement that made it hard to consider them anything more than a highly offensive joke band.
Now, on the groups third album, “The Battle of Yaldabaoth“, they veer into concept album territory, incorporating themes of Lord of the Rings style dark medieval fantasy, and painting a hellish landscape in which orcish beings and other demonic spawn collide against sadistic warlock priests, laying waste to the Earth and any inhabitants caught in their wake. This time, the musicianship is kicked up dramatically, and every second of the album throws something new and impressive at you either with the vocals or instruments. The result is quite simply the greatest death metal album I’ve ever heard.
Along the way you’ll encounter several bestial creatures, including the Childchewer, the Three Bastards, and Empusa not to mention the return of the Galeriarch cabal from the previous album. The end product sounds like what you’d get if the torturous demons seen in Diablo or Doom created a metal album, and honestly, this record could easily be a soundtrack to either of those games. Key highlights include “Ov Sacrament and Sincest“, the speed metal “Feast ov Goreglutton“, “Empusa: Queen of the Damned“, “Thy Faith, Thy Oblivion“, and the titular “The Battle of Yaldaboath“.
The most noteworthy track, however, is “Plaguebearer“, which features the most traditionally metal riffing and killer vocal delivery. It’s easily the bands greatest work and the best death metal track since TBDM’s “Kings of the Nightworld”. They should release it as a single because I actually think average rock fans would be able to dig it. The album also features several guest vocalists, including Trevor Strand himself from The Black Dahlia Murder.
Overall, this is the most epic death metal album ever recorded and it will kick your ass front to back while laughing as it hits you with every trick metal music is known for, as well as some new ones. Despite the horrifically demented imagery the album conjures up, all the members are actually stand up dudes just “taking the piss”, as the Brits like to say, and you can even find them chilling out and streaming listening sessions to their fans on Twitch. This collection of heinous lyricism and relentless crushing heaviness is not for the faint of heart, and if you don’t have a twistedly dark sense of humor or a taste for hardcore metal stay far away, but if you’re into this sort of thing, holy shit does this album slap.