There’s a point early on in Within A World Forgotten where I swear I hear cackling. Every time I hear it, it’s like a deadly spell has been cast and the flames suck me in. It happens every damn time I listen to Infernal Coil's debut album. Each, it’s a strange reminder of how remarkable this album is and how weirdly listenable this record is—how much there is to unearth on this record.
Some of you might remember Dead In The Dirt. If you’re not acquainted, I’m sorry. You missed a superb grind record. Go reconcile that and learn to say “No” in thunder. After that, come back here and proceed. If you remember The Blind Hole you might remember its player, Blake Connally. Since Dead In The Dirt's dissolution or hiatus, he pushes forth with an even more vicious project entitled Infernal Coil. If you follow my column, The Monday Grind, you probably already know about this band. But you know what? Forget what’s in that article and forget what you know. Because Within A World Forgotten is a dizzy, dark spell of violence conjured from the depths.
To put into words what Within A World Forgotten sounds like, it’d be deathgrind or grindcore seen through the lens of war metal. Or at least, that’s the feeling evoked. What’s so insane and so irrational about this album is how it sounds on a nearly constant basis. You read people saying this or that about how raw, or unrelenting an album sounds. Well, there’s that—and then there’s Within A World Forgotten. Case and point, “Wounds Never Close.” Barely missing the two-minute mark, the track tells all: this album is fucking crazy and fucking raw. Black metal can spew all the shit it wants about wanting to sound like it was recorded in the middle of a damp cave. This actually pulls that off.
Within A World Forgotten is one of the most atonal albums I’ve heard this year. It’s strange, considering how hypnotic and bonkers it is. It’s a near nonstop bout of suffocation and aural hemorrhaging. Yet, it works so well. It’s hardly ever catchy; it’s only ever vicious and pissed to its rabid core. “Bodies Set in Ashen Death” might actually be the catchiest song on the record, but maybe that’s because the Earth’s core sounds like it’s splitting as the song gears up and chaos erupts all around it. There’s a very naturally existing chaos to the record. Like if you could channel the unhinged violence of nature—especially that of man vs. nature—it’d be something like this. You would watch it from a willow tree filled with humans hanged with vines from its branches
There is calm to break up the madness though. It isn’t one pure blast of war-like violence. The points where the album comes to rest are extremely soothing and scenic. “49 Suns” is the ultimate example of this, clocking in at nearly ten minutes, but letting the listener rest and float for half the track on a slow strum of strings. It’s a gorgeous, folksy-sounding piece that gives ample time for reflection on the damage done so far.
Within A World Forgotten is an experience. Something that, if you have to take in chunks, then take it in chunks. Still, if you can go in one full swing, do it. Give it your full attention. At times it’s like walking through a lush forest. At other times, it’s like watching the eradication of humanity and nature all at once. Fixation is certainly on the latter, but one thing is for certain when all is said and done: if Blake Connally makes a record, you sit back, and you listen.