At the end of March, Symphonic metal giants Ad Infinitum revealed Chapter III – Downfall via Napalm Records. Filled with eerie and otherworldly melodies, encompassed by frightening vocals and wicked riffs, Ad Infinitum‘s latest creation gives birth to a soundscape experience unlike any other. From dreamy drops to shattering solos, Ad Infinitum bring their absolute best while still indulging in a bit of fantasy and flare to give us an album that lingers on mind and body.
The introductory track, “Eternal Rains” brings classic Ad Infinitum sound while adding notes of atmospheric tension and fear. it plays on the dancing quips in the background, hammering in rain drops and dread before kicking up the volume. Melissa’s vocals wander from creepy and alluring to skyward, like flashes of lightning across the sky. The mixture of deep growls upon her highs creates the perfect balance of stormy sky and piercing wind before a beautiful guitar solo crashes in like rolling thunder. It’s the perfect welcome to the album, showcasing the sound fans have come to adore while still giving us a taste of something to come.
“Upside Down” brings in the speed with electronic flare. It’s flashy and dancey with a poppy feel beneath its metal surface. it’s a perfectly catchy track for its upbeat melody and chorus – “upside down, you fool yourself and you hide in disguise,” that quickly catches your attention and settles in like a little ear-worm. By round two you’re singing along with Melissa, and you can’t stop. It’s not overly ambitious, choosing to stay simple and boppy enough that it had me replaying it, even just in my head.
“From the Ashes” brings in a wild harmony with untamed guitars that had me instantly in love. it’s beautifully articulated from vocals to melody as it rises and falls, pausing before tuning back in like a flashback sequence. It’s an explosive track to say the very least; with heavy, perfectly timed calms to keep the intensity high with suspense cranked to the max.
“From ashes into sky, I will arise. Crimson dreams meant to die. Reveries of the mind guiding my way into devious light,” creates an intoxicating vision of passion, distress, and determination that leads into an absolutely blistering drop that had me reeling in awe. This song is IT! The absolute banger on the album with its crazy musical strength, lyrical finesse, and vocals that are executed PERFECTLY.
Following up is the popular, and not to be outdone, “Somewhere Better” with its searing guitars and fiery purpose. The clips of performance and crowd excitement are like a refreshing breeze, a moment to recollect, and to embrace the stage. It’s an absolutely beautiful track, one that still ensnares me after its video release in November of 2022.
You can find my full review for “Somewhere Better“via the direct title link!
“The Underworld” is an insanely speedy track that goes heavy while still keeping a catchy undertone. it gets your body moving, dancing along as the bass strums along and the guitars pick up speed. Once again we see the mixture of clean and harsh vocals to give this track a bit of spice and flare that provides that extra boost of fury you’d expect with revenge. Satisfaction comes on a jazz-like solo; perfectly playful n the grave-dancing ambiance that’s flooded our minds making it a tack that’s hard not to hit replay on.
To come from behind is “Ravenous” that flies on the wind instruments, bringing an otherworldly haze that quickly whirls around us. Taking up heavy guitar riffs and a deep drumbeat, this track is a show-stopper. I adore how well the melody builds; from the first few moments it begins to rise swiftly in emotional potency with feverish purpose. It’s a vicious track, ripe with darkness, malice, and foul reminiscence that quickly grabs you by the face and pulls you into the shadows.
“Under the Burning Skies” brings melancholy and pain; a memory of tragedy and demise wrapped in velvety vocals and whimsical sound. Building in cinematic-style, Ad Infinitum cranks the emotion for this vivid track that has me imagining a myriad of scenes without even blinking an eye. With incomparable impact, the drums perfectly slam down to match the agony while guitars soar to bring in the visuals of funeral paths, rose petals, and somber fields. it’s a painstakingly gorgeous in its composition, leaving me breathless and quickly earning its place as my favourite track on the entire album. If you want to pick a single track to listen to DO NOT SKIP THIS ONE.
Twisting along is “The Serpent’s Downfall” that rises up on curious notes with a melody I can’t quite place making it all that much more intriguing. It picks up on the low, quick-moving bass, letting guitars and drums sit back for a few moments before they come together once again. It’s a more exploratory track, noting the emphasis on bass lines that provides it with a peculiar tune and yet stays harmonized and interesting. it’s solid, and fascinating in a way that had me listening a few times to really focus on it as a whole rather than the individual instruments and breaks.
“Legends” brings the album to a close, and features the startling vocal presence of Eluveitie‘s Chrigel Glanzmann to serenade our curiosity. A story, a memory, and the legacies passed down by the lips of our ancestors brings us this dynamic track with cascading guitar solos and encapsulating introductory speech. It’s a track that makes you feel like you’re soaring through the skies on dragon back, resolve igniting your soul as you pass by the moments of your life that got you to where you now stand. Musically explosive, this track winds down tunnels of heavy metal, dance beats, and atmospheric shift that keeps you in suspense, waiting for the cloud break so you can the the legends that have guided your way.
Overall, Ad Infinitum‘s Chapter III – Downfall is an absolutely stunning album to put it simply. With a never-ending adventure of twists and drops through musical exploration and creative expression, Ad Infinitum brings us a feast for all senses. Tracks had me mesmerized, pulling a smile, moving a tear, and dancing on my feet. It truly has an appeal that suits every and any taste with room to re-listen and explore once more. An absolute must listen for the musically adventurous, and those of us whose imagination already soars with every song we’ve ever heard the mere moment it begins.
You can grab your own copy of Ad Infinitum‘s Chapter III – Downfall via their website link. You can also stay up-to-date with the band via their socials like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Bandcamp!