from IPython.display import YouTubeVideo YouTubeVideo("6zFC6tv667c")
This was an album that changed the direction of my musical tastes in a very big way. I was fourteen, a pretty straight laced Christian kid. My beard hadn't manifested by then, so I was clean cut and baby faced still. At that point, my musical collection consisted of bands like Five Iron Frenzy and The Aquabats, Reliant K, etc. And the last thing I expected to happen on a church youth retreat was to come back with an interest in metal.
There was a talk I attended about expanding horizons or some such. It had to do with christian media and the stereotypes of what christians were allowed to enjoy. The guy giving the talk started talking about seeking out alternatives to bands that we enjoyed. Like KoRn? Try POD. Like Eminem, try KJ-52 (lol). Slipknot, how about Demon Hunter. And on came Infected. Not the whole song, just part of it. My mind was blown. I was like "wut," when I got home, I immediately sought out everything I could find from them. At the time it was just their self-titled and maybe "Summer of Darkness" had been released not too long before. I got my hands on the self-titled and I don't think it left my CD player for months.
Listening to it now, it all sounds so predictable and derivative. Keep in mind, their big contemporaries were bands like Slipknot, Stone Sour, Disturbed, Drowning Pool and that this album is almost as old as I was when I first heard it. I'll say that it hasn't aged well, in my opinion at least.
The songwriting is mediocre. There's nothing really wrong with it, but the album just kinda...sits there. Musically, most of the songs bounce between kind of heavy and mellow hard rock, but don't do anything with it. They toss in a lot of odd flairs sometimes: listen to the chorus of "Scream of the Undead" and hear what I mean. It's an acceptable, clean sung chorus but it was this strange squealing guitar half-buried in the background.
Ryan Clark's voice is alright. It's not grating but it's not memorable either. He tends to use the intense half-mutter a bit too much for me. However, it's mixed way into the front, it's almost impossible to hear anything over it -- I don't know if this is a problem with all the songs I found on youtube or if it was actually like that, but it's surely annoying.
Speaking of mixing, I can't tell what's up with the drums. Half the time, they're buried way back in the mix like an after thought but then they'll jump straight forward (with or without making them sound like a variety of banana boxes and plastic storage containers).
Overall, it's a very run of the mill early 2000s nu-metal album. It definitely fit with the metal atmosphere of its niche (Christian metaldom) for its time despite being contemporary with Extol's Undeceived, Living Sacrifice's Conceived in Fire and Zao's Parade of Chaos -- all of which fare considerably better today, Living Sacrifice is about the only band I haven't revisited outside of nostalgia.
Despite all that, I do have fond memories of this album because it was ultimately responsible for my interest in metal, though not the album that made me truly heavy.
I spilled my brains, spill some of yours.