As a rule, when a band are called 'Darkside of Innocence' and their album cover features a black scene adorned with lightning bolts and gothic writing like gnarled wintry tree branches, you can usually guess the type of musical content within. That Infernum Liberus EST delivers a recipe of tortured vocals, pounding drumming and thickly dramatic instrumentation is no surprise, what is a revelation is the quality of the resultant music.
The elements present are all very familiar. The album opens with an eerie collection storm sounds and church bells, which mingle with a rising orchestra soundscape. This crescendo gives way to a thunderous metal assault led my screeching vocals, which then drops into a soaring female vocal over a piano melody. This approach continues throughout the album, occasionally segueing into pastoral orchestral or piano segments and pieces that offer respite from the undoubtedly heavy driving force of the album.
What sets Darkside of Innocence apart is their impeccable ear for melody. Even at their most brutal, they never lose sight of the musical ideas driving the songs. Thus, no matter how much is going on, the music never descends into noise. Shifts in pace and emphasis are generally very well judged. The quieter sections are never merely used as punctuation, to give the band a rest or to instil a false sense of classical pedigree, but are genuinely integral to the pieces and worthwhile in their own right.
Add an intriguingly constructed sense of mystique based on Gnosticism, and you have a genuinely interesting album that exceeds expectations in every way.
Note Since Sea of Tranquillity were sent the review copy of Infernum Liberus EST the band have confirmed to us that the album will no longer be made available on CD, they say:
"We thought and decided that "Infernum Liberus EST" is now part of a distant past and that we won't waste much more time promoting it since that's practically the only thing we've done these last 2 years."
To this end they've made the album available, for free. Yes, you did read that correctly, all FREE. It is available as an RAR file at the site below (.RAR being an archive format that needs to be extracted, like .ZIP):
1. Act I Inferno
2. Act I.I Angel of Sin
3. Act I.II The Eve to a Colder Epoch
4. Act II Once Upon Havoc and
5. Act II.I An Impending Commence for Decay!
6. Act II.II To Her Spawn In Full Submission
7. Act III The Chosen Path Led Forth Devatation
8. Act III.I
Of a Cursed Dawn Eclipsed!
9. Act IV To Bid Valia a Last Farewell
10. Act IV.I A Howling Hymn for Aneon's Awakening
11. Act V.I Bloody Mistress
12. Act V.II In Nomine Dementia