Review: “Burning In Exile” by Infex

Disciples of Thrash should recognise Infex as a Bay Area band who have shared stages with both Exodus and D.R.I. in the past decade with numerous line up changes limiting them to just a pair of previous records in debut album “Circling the Drain” in 2012 and 2015 EP “Killing for Jesus“. But reinvigorated with a fresh impetus and the arrival of Adam Weber of Embryonic Devourment  fame on lead guitars in 2017, the band set about writing their sophomore album, which was initially due to be recorded in March 2020 at Trident Studios in Martinez, California. However due to the Pandemic, those sessions were few and far between, something to which the album title “Burning in Exile” owes its name. Fortunately that situation didn’t stop Juan Urteaga (Machine Head, Skinlab, Testament) from producing, engineering, mixing or mastering…

…as what the quartet have created with his help is classic Old School Trash album with a lethal dose of 80’s nostalgia for the glory days of the San Francisco Bay scene with more than a few fresh ideas of their own. Straight out of the gate the Jack Childs spits shrapnel with razor sharp lyrics while accompanying high octane riffs that echo early Metallica and Municipal Waste with the relentless gallop of percussion from Corey Bell drives the nails into the coffin of anyone who might have dared suggest that the band were done. The call to arms “The Burning” announces the bands return with like a Viking hoard to a village, setting the thatched rooves ablaze before looting and pillaging with evil cackles heard on the wind. You can’t have a decent Thrash album without a few face melting solos and “Exiled” takes that to the extreme with a drawn out ripper from Weber of dexterity and skill but this is far from just a Thrash record. Influences of Crossover Metal, Hardcore and even Death Metal are heard in places as well with “Acid Reign” going for the jugular with some throat shredding moments of pure darkness proving they have so much more to their playbook and the solo over breakdown in that one is absolutely immense. The influence of Slayer is felt on “The Abyss” which has a real sense of horror to it as Childs manages to squeeze an extra something out of his vocal performance before the socially and politically aware “Legions of Hate” brings a whole new aspect to the game. Another ferocious vocal performance and fretboard igniting solo is the order of the day but there is again something more engaged about the vocal attack and the bands performance reflects that as if a quartet scorned and out for blood soaked revenge. Throwing in the comedic classic “Beer Run”  into the mix, something to which everyone can relate, is pure unadulterated good fun. The words all killer, no filler get thrown about with a little to much regularity in general when it comes to reviews but in the case of Infex we can make an exception as they’ve delivered the goods with this one, a prize fighter of a record that enters the ring and lines up the knock outs one after another… [7.5/10]

Track listing

1. Blood of the Wicked
2. The Burning
3. Exiled
4. Acid Reign
5. The Abyss
6. Legions of Hate
7. Torn Apart
8. Beer Run
9. 7.62

Burning In Exile” by Infex is out 13th August and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp

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