INFECTED VIRULENCE - Music of Melkor (RAW SKULL REKORDZ CD 2016)
Isn’t that a weird title for death metal album? “Music of Melkor”. Hmm, obviously those, who have read Tolkien’s “Silmarillion” will know, who Melkor was. And those who didn’t, well let me just say that Melkor is the same evil being that later became known as… Morgoth! So, this album could have been titled “Music of Morgoth”, but that would be silly haha! It’s even more surprising to read that the lyrics are also dealing with the “Silmarillion” concept – was it the first death metal band to have this kind of Tolkien influence in their lyrics, as far as I can remember???
Anyway, “Music of Melkor” was originally released in 1994 in huge quantity of… 300 copies!!! What makes it a damn rare artefact these days and almost impossible to find (although I know someone, who has three copies of it. Insane dude, you know who you are haha!). And as always, it would be just a damn shame to let such an album rot in forgotten tomb, so I welcome an idea for reissuing it with open arms. Such great albums need to be saved from oblivion. Raw Skull Rekordz with Ancient Darkness took care of reissuing “Music of Melkor”, so now you can grab yourself a copy of this legendary German death metal piece quite easily and you won’t end up paying quarter of your monthly wages. And even if I wish the booklet was better – with more pages, archival photographs and maybe some liner notes – nothing will spoil the joy of listening to this killer album.
But let me first say one thing, which I think works against “Music of Melkor”. Obviously it’s only my opinion, but I think that Infected Virulence’s self titled 1992 demo was better than this album! I love all songs from the demo, the dark, brutal feeling they have, all riffs and vocals and just perfect demo production. For me “Infected Virulence” is close to excellence. When speaking of “Music of Melkor”, I can say that the production is maybe not quite as good as demo’s, even though it’s still allright. All songs are good and solid, but maybe without that spark which would set everything in fire. You can notice that Infected Virulence has changed their style slightly, especially with songs like the title track, which I can even say that I don’t like so much, because this song has that groovy feeling, which I’ve never been a big fan of. So, not everything on “Music of Melkor” works well, this album is surely not as killer as the demo, but it’s still damn good piece of death metal, with some fine songs.
“Music of Melkor” is classic death metal record, filled with some excellent riffs, all played in mid paced or slow tempo, with almost no fast parts (they appear sporadically maybe in couple of songs only). But Infected Virulence kept their music all brutal and sick all the time through the album, only sometimes letting themselves to include a small melodic piece like it happens in “Tol Eressea”. Some of these riffs have a strong Bolt Thrower infection (even the vocals sound like early Karl Willets haha), especially in such tracks as “Earendil” or “Doom of the Atani”. Some other time I feel like they sound a bit like the most death metal version of Napalm Death and you know, can we even complain on that?! Nope!
Generally it’s an album that stayed unknown and forgotten for too many years. I realize it was originally released in not the best time, when all the death metal masterpieces were already released and the need for another death metal band was not so high. Bands like Morgoth started to change – progress as they called it… Infected Virulence released this album and then also decided to take this unnecessary step for progression… and quickly died, with not much success. But good thing is that many of these unknown bands nowadays sound better than ever before and their old demos or albums get more recognition today than twenty years ago. I hope the same will happen with Infected Virulence and “Music of Melkor”. It’s very good album, so get the CD. Try also to find their demo CD, as it’s even better… and well, let’s just hope no one will give them a bad idea to reform haha!
Standout tracks: “Doom of the Atani”, “Nirnaeth Arnodiad”, “Earendil”, “The North Aflame”
Final rate: 80/100