Album Review: SHEIDIMInfamata
When Sheidim burst onto my radar last year with their full length, Shrines Of The Void, I was thrilled by the black metal supergroup featuring members of Cruciamentum, Suspiral, and Graveyard. They came right out of the gate with intelligent, multilayered compositions and a grander vision that was easy to latch on to and which consistently proved that the band was climbing towards something truly magnificent. Now as Sheidim comes back with the 27 minute long EP Infamata, there is a whole batch of new music to unpack and to really sink your teeth into.
While Sheidim have certainly advanced in their songwriting, tapping into a new wave of evil, one still gets the sense that they aren't quite reaching their full potential. There is a lot to unpack with any given new I, Voidhanger Records release, that's part of the point of the label, but Infamata is a special kind of fascinating. Though it's certainly far more accessible than many of their label mates offerings there is still something about this record that demands attention.
I think the thing that makes Sheidim so engaging to me is how densely packed their music is without coming off as over the top and masturbatory technical metal. The arrangements here are surprisingly complex and bring a lot to the table, but simultaneously they suggest a reality that is rather different than what one might expect from this sort of black metal. In fact, certain passages, if it weren't for the guitar tone, might feel more at home on an old school death metal release. The gnarled vocals certainly add to this musical twist too. It's this fusion of ideas that helps to make the burning rage of Sheidim so inspiring. You find yourself trying to digest an album that can't help but to thrill, navigating the twists and turns of a truly monumental musical statement. With this record, despite its brevity, the band covers many sides of black metal, at times to their detriment. I guess the concern is not that Sheidim isn't an excellent band, but that sometimes I wonder about their direction and the occasionally scatterbrained nature of the release leaves me at a loss.
All that being said, Sheidim are rapidly becoming masters of their craft. For such a young band they are rapidly developing a distinct style, perhaps most clearly defined by the most impressive drum attack in black metal this side of Downfall Of Gaia. This is the sort of record that you can get lost in, every time I listen to it I spend time thoroughly unpacking and deeply enjoying another layer. Infamata is going to guide you forward time and time again, through black metal masterpieces that can't help but to make you wonder about the nature of the genre, and I love it. There are few bands with such a top down comprehension of what black metal is, it's now just a question of watching them refine this killer formula into something a bit more precise, potent and ready to set the world on fire.