Ancient Egypt metal stories in the new Ad Infinitum`s album “Chapter III: Downfall”

Author Julia Suloinen - 28.3.2023

I bet the first band that comes to your mind when you hear the words “metal” and “history” is Sabaton only. Yeah, right, these guys decently frame history lessons into metal music, yet let`s not forget, that history is not about bare facts only, it`s also about the feelings and emotions of real people in certain circumstances. And Ad Infinitum, fronted by the lyricist and history enthusiast Melissa Bonny, have really mastered the skill of depicting this side of history in their unique – catchy and ardorous – manner, which can be clearly heard in their new album, “Chapter III: Downfall”, concentrated on the collisions of the Ancient Egypt times.

This album starts with a mysterious banger “Eternal Rains”, where the ragefulness of the drums can compete only with Melissa’s extreme roars. The next songs “Upside Down” and “Seth” makes us more and more convinced that this album will be mostly about epicness and thick rhythm. Also, it has some dancing vibe in here, which makes us think about Amaranthe a lot. Well, starting with the fact that “Chapter III: Downfall” was produced by Jacob Hansen, who`s done a lot for Amaranthe already, and ending up with the fact that Melissa Bonny herself is a dancer, so this resemblance is obvious, on one hand, but works quite well – on another.

In “From The Ashes” the accent on the rhythm goes to a whole new level, as this song is very groovy and even djent’ish a bit. I enjoyed the curious composition of this song, as here where the guitar solo was supposed to be according to all canons we hear riffs and rhythm patterns. The super-powerful chorus adds volumes to the catchiness of the song.

I hear the next song, “Somewhere Better”, as a “somewhere out in space” type of song due to its “floating” measured tempo and atmosphere, and here epicness goes a bit more ethnic. For some reason, I thought that “Underworld” would be the doom sad ballad, but it’s straight up one of the most dynamic and energetic songs on the album with a vortexing guitar solo, aggressive yet solemn drive and my favorite Melissa`s clean plus growl vox overlay. It`s curious to notice that the lead guitar here is muted, and the bass line stands out even more than the guitar solo.

“Ravenous” starts with an epic wind instrument and then goes with a distinctive drum line that resembles a lot with Sabaton‘s “Carolus Rex”. Ok, history and drums go hand in hand, I got the concept:) It`s one of my favorite songs on the album, I truly adored the melismatic vocals here, and the song is groovy as heck, drums totally rule the party here.

“Under The Burning Skies” is finally a full-time ballad, it has the perfect blend of soothing beauty and devastating sadness, like a lullaby. A lullaby about Cleopatra’s death. Monumentuous symphonic arrangements are called to underline the greatness and tragedy of this legendary woman. In the beginning of the “Architect of Paradise” we hear familiar muted guitars, which tell us that the song’s gonna be dynamic. This is a joyous sparkling tune with juicy bass, curious melodic interlacings, ethnic melody, and growling.

The marching tune of “The Serpent’s Downfall” delivers us into a magic fantasy world, this song sounds like a metal Disney song to me, and that`s so damn lovely! The “New Dawn” begins with an acoustic and then develops a solid uplifting mood, it totally sounds like a continuation of the previous song in mood and lyrically. This is, probably, the most optimistic tune on the album. Here we hear a curious effect when not only guitars get muted, but all instruments, the whole song kinda goes underwater or something. Here I’d like to say that I’m a huge sucker for optimistic power metal, I adore it when I am told that everything is gonna be alright, and it`s all framed in energetic riffs and stuff.

The final song “Legends” has a little verbal story in the beginning, and then it marvelously throws at you absolutely everything “Chapter III: Downfall” is notable for: super-drums, epic symphonic tunes with a slight oriental touch, and a muted solo guitar. By the end of this album, I’ve finally realized that such guitar sound reminded me of Pink Floyd a little, which is far beyond authentic.

To sum up the whole thing – this is pretty decent modern-metal rhythm-driven record, pretty eclectic musically and also very sincere and curious in terms of lyrics. I bet this album will motivate metalheads to dive more into he history of Ancient Egypt, maybe discover something new, maybe look at some facts from the new angles. As I like to say – everything is better with a proper soundtrack!