War, slavery, injustice, political issues and poverty – Just a few words that come into my mind every time I submerge myself in the aural assault that is Infest. Formed in 1986, Infest are considered by many to be the pioneers of raw and dissonant offshoot of hardcore punk called powerviolence. Mixing various aspects of straight-up hardcore punk, throwing in additional aggression, both lyrical and sonic, and essentially speeding it all up, Infest crafts a monumental release in the rebellious punk scene.
Slave is quite a brief album, but one that definitely shouldn’t be underestimated. Like a fast train that hits its careless victim, Slave punches you right from the start, quickly beats you into submission and leaves you bruised and wondering what the hell just happened. Amidst the severe beating, you’re told a bleak story of a nation and its people stripped of their rights and forced to live as slaves to their nations ruthless leaders. At first its all hardly even perceptible, but eventually the initial anguish ceases and you’re finally able to firmly grasp the whole story.
Slave appears to be void of any particular standout moments, as all of the tracks are musically equally strong, only diverging in length and lyrical topic.
Most of the tracks don’t even reach the 1 minute mark, but what they lack in variety and length, they make up for in intensity and raw energy. Guitars are fast, sinister and dissonant. Drums pounding with great force, occasionally striving for speeds that would make Extreme Noise Terror proud. Bass-lines whizzing by with unbelievable velocity and the gritty vocals ofJoe Denunzio perfectly complementing the overall chaos. Several tracks here are marching extremely closely to the early grindcore territory, proving that for Infest the extremity has no limits.
Overall, Slave is an intense and captivating journey into the depths of raging hardcore. One can assure you’ll never forget it, of course, provided you ever survive it.