Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Infected Virulence - Music of the Melkor (1994)

German DM crew, Infected Virulence, released Music of the Melkor for the sole purpose of debunking the myth that Tolkein was the exclusive domain of Black Metal and Zeppelin. With a name like that, and a logo like that, and a sound evoking early Autopsy, you're expecting songs extolling gore-rape or at least the bio-techno apocalypse. So when they name-check Eärendil and Gondolin and other topics strictly verboten in death metal, it is jarring in the very best sense. Never is Middle Earth so grim and disconsolate as when interpreted by this Teutonic horde.

I've spent the last day listening to nothing but this CD, which I paid too much for on eBay 6 years ago. Folks, there is no false here. The drums hit hard. The tempos vary from mid-paced chug, to booty-droppin' polkas, to straight-up death blasts, often within the same track. Song structures are lyrically and sonically crepusculean.

Infected Virulence is a strange lot in that their members were also engaged in Croon, a stoner/doom band, and Tyccoma, a group metal-archives magnanimously dubbed "Progressive Power Metal." Music of Melkor, on the other hand, is a focused, nuanced, progressive, and brutal slab of early DM crafted in the forges of Morbid Angel, Obituary, Deicide, etc. With a twist. By the time epic closer, Tol Eressea, roles around, you've triumphed over Sauron, The Nazgul, and any number of Uruk-hai.

In the legendarium, Melkor was the original name for Morgoth (incidentally, another quality German DM band Cobras enlightened you on here), who unleashed untold quantities of misanthropy on Middle Earth. The album's namesake is a reference to when Morgoth (then Melkor) and Eru threw down. Reportedy, they did this through music, which sounds kind of fishy to me. It works in 8 Mile to see who's the illest MC but you'd think they'd need battle axes or something from this page to decide who's the Father Of All Creation. Melkor's style was "loud, and vain, and endlessly repeated"...completely br00tal IOW and not at all unlike this record. Certified 3X Platinum by the GRAMMYS.

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