Ad Infinitum Finds Their Sound in “Chapter III – Downfall”; Raising the Bar Even Higher For New Symphonic Metal!

Ryan Murray | Co-Owner | Chief Editor | Contributor

📸 – Nat Enemede

Up-and-coming modern symphonic metal outfit Ad Infinitum is set to release their third studio album, entitled “Chapter III – Downfall” and you won’t want to miss it! With an even bigger sound and more modern production, this album showcases the band’s obvious growth and sees them digging even deeper into their sound and into themselves.

In an interview with A&P Reacts, Melissa Bonny discussed the inspiration behind the new album, stating, “For the first and second records, we chose historical characters to guide the songwriting, especially the lyrics, and we chose two men. So, this time we chose a woman and brainstormed and chose Cleopatra. When you talk about Cleopatra, you cannot skip ancient Egyptian mythology, so we are talking about ancient Egyptian gods.” This directed lyrical content was a bit challenging to write, but Bonny’s incredible melodies, tone, and harsh vocals, along with her incredibly talented band mates execute it amazingly!

The album’s atmosphere from start to finish feels like you’re traveling within the story, making it an even richer experience. Ad Infinitum has held onto their strengths while building upon new ones, as is evident on their latest effort.

Boasting incredible and intricate vocal melodies, well-placed harsh vocals, incredible instrumentation, orchestration, and atmosphere, this magnificently crafted release will take you on a journey you won’t soon forget.

The album opens with “Eternal Rains” immediately plunging us into a goth metal-like atmosphere with ethereal sounds that give rise to Bonny’s incredible vocals, backed up by lots of down-picking. This track also features an incredible guitar solo by Adrian Theßenvitz.

The high-energy track “Upside Down” is sure to get those in the pit jumping! With its synth-pop-like feel, it flaunts a sound of pure fun that is infectious. The key modulation towards the end adds a nice touch, making the track even more exciting.

The middle-eastern tinged “Seth” is a dark and ominous synth and guitar-driven track with incredible instrumentation. It fully envelops you in its powerful sound, transporting you back in time. Named after the Egyptian god of the desert, foreign lands, thunderstorms, eclipses, and earthquakes, the track captures the power and frightening nature of Seth.

Standout and uplifting tracks, including “The Serpent’s Downfall”“New Dawn”, and the already released single “From the Ashes”, boast massive hooks, big choruses, incredible melodies, and great guitar leads. Bonny’s vocal interpretations are absolute perfection, making the verses in “From the Ashes” stand out with her playing within the 4/4 time signature and some really cool subdivided syncopations that add variety and an almost progressive feel to the song. The massive hooks in “The Serpent’s Downfall” and “New Dawn” make these tracks more radio-friendly and would have incredible live energy. Adrian Theßenvitz’s solo in ‘New Dawn’ has got to be one of the best solos I’ve heard in a long time! It’s not technically difficult, but it’s breathtakingly beautiful and beautifully executed, making the energy throughout “New Dawn” relentless, infectious, and the song very singable! It’s definitely a favorite! The placement of these tracks is also perfect. With the unending wave of hatred, racism, and inequality that plagues us as a society and as a human race, “The Serpent’s Downfall” shows the spark of hope in the downfall of hate and inequality, while “New Dawn” speaks to the hope of a new tomorrow with equality and love for all.

Tracks like “Somewhere Better” see a slightly more laid back song, but this is definitely not a filler, as the vocals range anywhere between powerful to more subtle, almost very airy, as if floating above the band. Meanwhile, tracks like “The Underworld” and “Ravenous” boast much beefier riffing, with some incredibly heavy moments reminiscent of bands such as Arch Enemy. “The Underworld” has got some incredible bass lines by Korbinian Benedict, while “Ravenous” boasts really catchy and beefy riffing that will get even the more shy music fans banging their heads.

“Under Burning Skies”, an absolutely luscious ballad, sees a more vulnerable side to Bonny’s vocals, boasting incredible melodies and simply beautiful orchestration with a more rock vibe as the song builds. The track ends with a diminishing orchestration, perfectly blending into “Architect of Paradise”, which creates an eerie atmosphere leading into a stadium-ready track that has some really hard and heavy moments.

Closing out this epic release is “Legends”, which hears Eluveitie’s Chrigel Glanzmann narrating the opening. Both Glanzmann’s narration, along with the entire lyrical context of this track are truly poignant words that really speak to the deepest recesses of our being. This track speaks to the never ending cycle that we just never seem to learn from our past mistakes, whether it be from hatred, intolerance, or injustice and the like. We hear Glanzmann speak the words “In the hallways of eternity, their names echo, defying the laws of time. Thousands of years of evolution later, we light a candle to salute them, but the wind of our sins expels its flame, leaving us again and again in the ignorant darkness.”, while we hear in the bridge “They went through storms and told their tales So we could learn to sail another way. Blindfolded fools, this is the age of madness. Evolution is a plague we all ignored. Can anyone explain the reason why.” Saturated again with an enchanting middle-eastern vibe, this track once again transports you back in time. Bonny’s vocals are hauntingly beautiful, and the orchestration adds a cinematic touch, making it a perfect closer to the album.

Overall, Ad Infinitum’s “Chapter III – Downfall” is a stunning and well-crafted album that showcases the band’s growth and musical prowess. With an engaging storyline, incredible vocal melodies, and powerful instrumentation, this album will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on listeners. It’s a must-listen for anyone looking for a truly immersive musical experience! “Chapter III – Downfall” releases Friday, March 31st via Napalm Records!

Verdict: 4.75/5

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