Infesting Swarm from Germany have taken death metal, mixed it with post metal and doom and some melodic and melancholic passages, and moulded them into perfection. That should be the end of the review, but of course it isn’t.
In fact it’s the clinical perfection which is its downfall. I don’t doubt the fearsome, gloomy post metal or the melodically deathly tones, the long notes, the majestic tones, the growls and instrumental imperialism but it’s also perfectly executed and in such an orderly fashion that it’s like it’s all been taken from a musical text book. For a moment “Ending” reminded me of early Omnium Gatherum, then measured deathliness intervenes, as “Desperation” emerges and changes mood. The “quiet before the storm” precedes a predictable but impressive build-up. “Year of No Light” forges forward. Although steady in its heaviness “Desolation Road” doesn’t plod, and there is power and purpose. In fact it’s Big and of course well executed. I got some pleasure out of “Abandoned Life” as opposed to technical appreciation. A hammering track, the size and majesty rise above the gloom. An interesting slower cyclic passage fills the space before the heavy waves return and Infesting Swarm blast away at us for the remainder. “Der Lauf auf der Zeit” is a long post metal dirge. Has it anything new to say? No. This mechanical slab does expand eventually and to a triggering drum ends climactically and gloriously. The slow and sludgy beginning of “Horizon on Fire” reminded me of Hypocrisy but it rises carefully and comes to an end in no time. I couldn’t see the point here. The title track “Desolation Road” is gloomy and melancholic. A scream promises a digression but the gloom lingers and it’s leaden heavy, occasionally breaking into majestic post metal. It all seems to happen on cue though.
“Desolation Road” is not an album of surprises. It is confidently delivered but I’m not sure all the parts led to a greater whole. This for me was more technique than inspiration. It is well executed, there is swelling and surging but I can’t say that I was bowled over by its imagination or creativity.
(6.5/10 Andrew Doherty)