Roel de Haan : It has been three years since 'Chroniken Des Ablebens' was released by the German black metal band Infestus. Now trimmed down to a one-man outfit the band comes up with its successor called 'Ex | Ist'. The loss of physical members somehow didn't stop Infestus to show a remarkable progression in quality, originality and musicianship. In fact, in the midst of quality releases, 'Ex | Ist' shines as one of the best black metal albums I recently heard.
This is black metal that is firmly rooted in the style that the innovators of the mid-nineties propagated but just like those bands Infestus' stylistic approach is very individualistic and original, rather than following genre conventions. The result is a stunning example of an album that showcases a rich palette of styles, moods, emotions and innovative parts while still retaining a coherent dark entity. Ranging from emotive flamenco-inspired acoustics to full on raging blast-beats, nothing seems contrived or out of place. It is this broad range and the ingenious construction of all its constituents that is the true strength of the album.
Within a flurry of genre committed black metal releases that simply lack quality and vision this truly is a breath of fresh air as Infestus offers both individuality and, simply put, very good black metal. Highly recommended.