New Album Review

Album Review: 86 – Infected Rain

Top Songs: Mold, Serendipity, Orphan Soul 

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I would like to introduce one of my favorite metal bands, Infected Rain. I was a bit skeptical before listening to this nu-metal album, but much to my surprise, I completely fell in love with the album and the band. Their incorporation of metalcore, melodic death metal, electronic samples, touching lyrics, and female screams gives them a unique, gripping sound. 86 perfectly showcases the talent of each individual member. The first song of the album, Mold, gives a good introduction of their eclectic sound by combining heavy guitar, explosive vocals, and electronics. Elena Cataraga, also known as Lena Scissorhands, has a wildly impressive vocal range, spanning from clean singing, intense vocal fry, to deep gutturals Everything she delivers is packed with so much raw emotion it gives me chills to this day. This emotion shines through in Orphan Soul, where Lena writes a letter to her parents reflecting on her painful childhood while celebrating the new freedom and life she’s found despite her past. My favorite song from this album, Peculiar Kind of Sanity, focuses on how we allow our ego to corrupt our perception, overcoming deeply instilled fear, and taking control of our life. The primary theme throughout the album seems to be awakening from confusion and pain, corruption of humanity, self-acceptance, and overcoming your past or current pain. I find myself going back to their music over and over again for escape and solace. As is the beauty of music, but I find this vulnerability is somewhat rare in a lot of metal, so Infected Rain’s take is refreshing. Who said being in touch with your emotions isn’t metal?

Infected Rain formed in 2008 in Moldova, and first appeared playing at a concert dedicated to Slayer. Later that year they released their first demo CD with three songs – With Me, Parasite, and No Idols. They’ve shared the stage with bands such Obituary, Behemoth, Katatonia, Mötley Crüe, and The Agonist. After ten years of being an independent band, they finally signed with Napalm records in February 2019. Lena states on their website, “I want to touch people somewhere deep inside, try to end their fears and give them that escape that they always search for. Music saved my life, but when I started to sing is when my life acquired color. I want to share that with you.” It’s apparent listening to their work that every moment comes from the heart, and I think that’s what makes this band so special.

While I absolutely love this band, I have a few reservations about their techniques regarding electronic sounds. From conversations I’ve had and reviews I’ve seen, it’s a common thought. Songs like Mold and Freaky Carnival are a prime example. The electronic sounds are sometimes unexpected and take the songs in a different direction that I would like. Maybe this is a misled presumption I’ve developed from listening to so much traditional sounding black and death metal. I respect that Infected Rain is pushing boundaries of metal and incorporating various sounds to create their art. If you can’t get past the electronic sounds, this band still has loads to offer. Electronic sounds are incorporated in only a few songs, and the rest is pure metal. Overall, I think this band is extremely underrated and I can’t wait to see where their unique sound takes them.  

 -Sarah Thomas