There are very few artists whose songs can make one simultaneously excited, alert, relaxed and contemplative but Infinity Shred has a way of hitting all those feelings in almost every note. You may know them better as the former members of Starscream, but 2012’s “EP001” and 2013’s full length “Sanctuary” highlighted the start a new era with a new name for these chiptune innovators.
With the just-released incredibly impressive “Long Distance” album, we see the band has jettisoned most of their lo-fi chiptune influences but still strongly adheres to their retro-futuristic cyberpunk post rock vibe. Sanctuary established the bands epic sound; purposefully repetitive melodies that borough into your brain via lilting smooth retro synth tones, backed by slowly building shoegazy/post-rock guitars, pads and powerful drumming. The formula gets some excellent new elements this time around. Read on for the full review.
While Sanctuary has more electronic drums and softer guitar edges, Long Distance takes things in a new direction without losing what is great about Infinity Shred. The most noticeable new genre they’ve incorporated into their sound is metal. Those familiar arpeggio’d retro synths and pads still take the lead while machine-gun double-bassdrum kicks cut their way across corrosive chugging guitars. The band also stated that church choir music is also an influence. This clearly seems to be more in the composition department than actual sound and it adds another interesting element to their great songs.
There are still soft moments and electronics, often in the same song as the new acrobatic, jagged metal rhythms. These new elements don’t get remove the wonderful “heavens opening” feeling you get from the crescendo of every Infinity Shred song. Even at its most metallic, the songs feel relaxing and beautiful, just a little more charged and thundering than they were previously. The juxtaposition is amazing and most noticeable on the thundering “Tragic Lagger ” and the epic closer “Catch These Blessed Hands.” Another especially great track is “Monolith” with it’s Mega Man X-esque dueling harmonized guitars that I wished would have gone on for another eight minutes. This is the perfect album for a late night drive or programming marathon. Get it today!