You have to hand it to Frontiers – they are damn good at finding and promoting new artists. New bands are always needed to make sure the scene doesn’t die. That being said, in the last couple of years it feels like quantity has been more important than quality, at least in my opinion. The label has brought out many bands that are good or half-assed instead of great and also, there so many releases that it’s almost impossible to really get into them properly. This is why my reactions is getting more and more ”ok, here’s another new one” instead of ”effing cool, another new act to get into”. That said, I will always do my best in trying to really listen hard to everything that comes my way.
Infinite & Divine is a new duo signed by Frontiers which consists of lead singer Tezzi (real name: Terese Persson) and multi instrumentalist Jan Åkesson who provides all guitars, bass, keyboards, backing vocals and programming with session guy Jens Westberg laying down the drums. The duo’s music is based on Melodic Rock but throws twists of Metal, Pop, Hard Rock and more symphonic elements around. While all that initially doesn’t sound like anything that hasn’t been done before, as a sucker for melodic Hard Rock it still feels interesting enough for me so I’ll just push play and keep my fingers crossed that Infinite & Divine will bring some quality to the table.
Opener ”I Feel Alive” is a Melodic Rock number in a mid pace that comes in a symphonic soundscape with an upbeat rhythm-section that makes the song feel, well alive actually. Tezzi’s dreamy vocal arrangements marries fine with the catchy hooks that makes the chorus hit like a hammer. Good one. The leading single and the song that gave the duo it’s name (or was it the other way around?), ”Infinite & Divine”, is a more upbeat and heavy rocker that comes in a faster tempo with an edgy guitar and a meaty rhythm. It’s a straight-forward and energetic, metal-tinged rocker with a melodic main-melody and a huge refrain with one foot on the threshold of AOR. The riff is actually pretty similar to Talisman’s ”I’ll Be Waiting”. A damn good song with an enormous hit-potential.
The band stays on the heavier path with ”Keep On Moving”, a darkening and riff-happy stomper that puts Metal, Classic Rock and Melodic Rock in a blender and goes off from there. The tune holds a punchy groove with muscular riffage with a fist-in-the-air outlook. Never forgetting the striking and direct melodies, the song’s refrain is totally spot-on. Great stuff. The mid-paced ”Not Too Late” is also rhythmically heavy with a gritty guitar but the atmospheric keyboard and the big soundscape creates a dynamic contrast. The verses are a bit more held-back but the big chorus again lifts the song with some Melodic Rock type melodies and main-hook goes for a catchy yet not poppy strike. Brilliant.
”Wastelands” comes along straight ahead and in-your-face in faster tempo and with a classic Hard Rock outlook. On top all that rowdy grit and slammin’ beats there’s a fateful and ominous keyboard that gives the tune a needed left-turn which definitely betters the tune. It’s a headbang-friendly tune but also a bit on the forgettable side, I’m afraid. Smooth and even slick melodies stands shoulder to shoulder with a metal-edged and ballsy rhythm on ”Burn No More”. It’s a direct belter, fast-tracked with a stone-hard beat. It’s high octane energy fueled yet with some symphonic keyboards on top and an effective chorus-hook. Good one.
Heavy and metal-fueled, the intense and riving ”We Are One” contains some chugging guitars and a galloping rhythms and a spooky sounding keyboard weaved in for contrasting purposes. The chorus is a mastodon with a direct catchiness and at times it reminds me of Nightwish’s more straight-forward pop-metal moments. Great. ”Off The Edge Of The World” is a heavy Melodic Rock number with a distinct pop-edge built on a solid, tough ground and some gritty guitar-work. The vocal-melodies are quite smooth and slick in the vein of Journey or Boston with an instant catchiness and hits right off the bat. To me, this is a future single with a truckload of hit-potential. Very good.
The slow to mid-paced ”You And I” takes on a straight ahead Hard Rock vibe where the held-back verses contrast nicely to the more punchy and upbeat refrain. It’s a bit on the mellow side at times and yes, there are pop touches here and there but mostly it’s a good rocker with another striking refrain. Going all in 80’s, ”While You’re Looking For Love” brings out the duo’s inner AOR with a nod to Def Leppard but it also brings on a tougher rhythm-section and some of the keyboard work throws a glance at more symphonic elements. The chorus is a damn contagious one and again I hear a hit here. They should try this one out as a single as well. Very good.
As a closer we get the aggressive and fast-tracked ”Perplexed Perfection”, a heavy number with clear Heavy Metal influences all over the place. It’s ballsy, muscular, beefy and hard-hitting and hold some more contemporary keyboards – think Dynazty here. Some of the melodies and arrangements takes the tune a bit too close to Power Metal for my taste even though the pop-twists holds some memorability. I’m not taken by the song even though it’s not bad at all. I guess it could be a rowdy live-opener.
For the first time in some time I have found a debut album by a new band/project that has really kicked my behind. At least most of the times. While I&D hardly present anything new to the table, they still do what they do very well and what’s most important, they know how to lay down a damn good tune. Also Tezzi proves to be an amazing singer who can take on most of the styles on this record, be it metal, AOR or Hard Rock. At times, it feels like they really haven’t decided on exactly where they want to go musically as the styles differs here and there but mostly, their bland of Metal, Pop and Hard Rock works very well. It’s gonna be interesting to follow this duo into the future.