China is a vast, massive country with an epic history dating back five thousand years, and on Infinity Screaming Savior makes sure to reflect this. They've included a lot of bombastic symphonic elements on the album, However, unlike many other metal bands who attempt this, they include these elements in a way that amplifies the metal instead of overpowering it. You know all those complaints about Fleshgod Apocalypse's Agony album where the orchestral elements overpowered the metal? This album doesn't really have that problem; the metal and the orchestra intertwine and complement each other.
Then again, the orchestra means nothing if the metal is not up to task. Luckily, the metal on this album is fucking brilliant. I never knew China could make something like this. They may not be breaking new ground, but they take what already exists and play it with almost scientific precision. I've done some research (read: looked up their band page on Metal Archives) and I discovered that these guys have been around since 2001. They obviously have a great deal of experience under their belt, and it really shows in the guitar work. They do a lot of fast and furious shredding (“Star of Fatality”, “Sanguinary Salvation”), but they also do some melodic and atmospheric solos (“Ocean of Asura”, “Pray to the Chthonic”), and of course, they don't forget the face-melting solos (“Ode to the Expedition”).
Moreover, they remember to pay attention to the other elements. The drums aren't doing anything new, but they pound and blast with absolute ferocity and a level of skill that's hard to top. There are three kinds of vocals on this album. The standard black metal croak; again, nothing new, but well-performed. The vocalist also pulls off these low death growls from time to time that serves as a nice juxtaposition. Finally, there are the clean vocals. They only show up on about two songs, but they really took me by surprise. These multiple vocal styles add a great deal of variety and keep the album from getting boring.
I know it's a bit early to declare this, but Infinity ranks up there with Obolus's Lament, Agruss's Morok, and Pseudogod's Deathwomb Catechesis as one of the best metal albums of the year. When I first got into the depths of extreme metal back in 2005, China's metal scene was downright puny. I never expected anything like this to be created. China is a rising star in the world economy in every aspect, even metal.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]