Anyone familiar in any way with Infant Annihilator knows what to expect at this point; technical, absurdist deathcore whilst going about things with their tongues firmly in their cheeks. Anyone who saw their infamous video for ‘Decapitation Fornication’ will undoubtedly still remember it.
Fans will no doubt be satisfied with what they’ve served up with their third album, ‘The Battle Of Yaldabaoth’, and this will be confirmed when the album opens with ‘Childchewer’. Musically and thematically, this is Infant Annihilator 101. We’re straight into first gear from the get-go, with a blast-heavy opening section that’s impossible to ignore.
‘Three Bastards’ continues to showcase their technical abilities, with their undeniably impressive guitar riffing and drumming chops. If you were to play these songs individually, they would be impressive on their own merit. It’s arguably a feat in itself that they fleshed out this much material whilst flexing their technical muscles, but herein lies the problem – the dynamic stays the same for a great portion of this record, which is just under an hour long. The phrase ‘quality over quantity’ may have gone over the heads of Infant Annihilator.
And with some vocals being so over-the-top, parts of this record are what heavy music may sound like to your relative or acquaintance who doesn’t quite share your interest in it. As well as this, the shock-value aspects that were once dangerous are arguably a tired metal trope now. While the lyrics are clearly a joke, you have to wonder what would make grown men consciously decide to attach themselves to lyrics like “Sauteed cocks and baby vaginas / Offerings of virgins and marinated minors” and song titles like ‘A Rape Of Sirens’.
There are still some redeeming features, though. ‘The Kingdom Sitteth Lonely Beneath Thine Hollowed Heavens’ contains strong chugging sections, and ‘Ov Sacrament & Sincest’ contains impressive spider-like sweeping guitar work with a crushing breakdown. The middle period of the album is arguably the strongest part; tracks like ‘Swinaecologist’ both showcase their technical prowess and make for an infectious listen.
‘Necropocalypse’ serves as a highlight too, with the fun factor shining through and the string-led intro bringing a long-overdue hint of variation. But, the short skit ‘Paedophilic Legacy’, which features gurgling and belching, feels a little pointless as an album closer.
Infant Annihilator perhaps deserve credit for playing with the deathcore blueprint, and there’s no denying their talent. But in spite of some impressive moments, and a few signs of maturation, there are still some doubts as to whether they’ll win over new converts on this showing.