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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Review: Unbounded Terror – Infernal Judgment

Label: Xtreem Music

Date: January 19th, 2021

Well, this is something you just don’t see anymore. “Infernal Judgment” is, in essence, a single. Yes, believe it or not, there are still bands and labels who consider a single to be more than a new song uploaded to some online streaming platform. Of course, the traditional format of a 7” vinyl with a new song and a “b side” featuring a cover or a live recording is a thing of the past since long time ago. But this CD is as close as we can get these days.

By the way, this is quite a lengthy release when it comes to singles. With over half an hour it could’ve easily qualified for a full length material should it have been packed with all new tracks. However, “Infernal Judgment” can also be considered as much more than a simple edition of a new song. It is also a fairly good insight into the collective creativity of a band whose origins have been laid way back in the early ‘90s.

But let’s go from the top.

Opening the release is the title track. A new song that is the whole reason for the release itself. “Infernal Judgment” presents Unbounded Terror in their latest incarnation. A skillful combination of US death metal brutality coupled with quite Swedish sounding melodies. Those two elements have not been all that well mixed with each other, but instead have their own ruling segments of the track. Still, it is not bad. There’s something for the fans of both sides. The verses are underlined with Deicide-like, pounding sound, while the chorus is overly melodic, bringing along some Dark Tranquillity connotations.

Nothing new, or extraordinary, but still a song that should appeal to worshipers of old death metal from both ends of the ocean.

Next segment of “Infernal Judgment” are the four tracks taken from the very first Unbounded Terror album. Almost three decades after it was originally released in 1992, these four songs have been recorded again, with the new line-up and put up almost as a countermeasure to “Infernal Judgment” (the song, not the release in total). These tracks show just where the band started from. Old, primeval, mostly Florida inspired death metal. Deicide comes to mind again. All of this suggests that the above mentioned melodic elements have only recently come into play with Unbounded Terror. Basically since the reactivation of the band in 2019, as the band has been put to sleep shortly after the debut album was released. Just one year later.

Once again, nothing extraordinary, from today’s perspective, when this has all been played out to infinity. Still, given the timeframe in which these songs were originally crafted, I can easily imagine most of the Spanish death metal freaks pretty much considering Unbounded Terror a cult band on their domestic scene. Simple, yet effective songs that should be enough for every death obsessed fan.

And then, contrary to my statement above about the melodies being implemented with the reformation of the band, there is the third and final piece of “Infernal Judgment” puzzle. Three live editions of the songs from Unbounded Terror’s last year’s album, “Faith in Chaos”. These show that the band continued where it left off back in the beginning. Only, this time we are dealing with an act that has grown up, gained experience and found a better way to express what they originally intended to. It is still a brutal death metal delivery, inspired by the roots of the genre, but much better developed. The live sound doesn’t hurt a bit. It has been recorded as clearly as possible so that there is a clean insight into what these songs are all about.

So, “Infernal Judgment” can be construed as quite a professional promo release. Gathering all sides of the band on one pile, it serves to both past and future fans of Unbounded Terror. It gives an insight into the past, as well as announces the future endeavors the Spaniards will undertake. Taking into consideration that Unbounded Terror was dormant for about a quarter of a century, we can call them a hidden pearl from the early death metal years.

Will this new arrival into the vastly changed scene bring these guys what they lacked back in the day? I cannot give you a concrete answer to this question. What I can tell you is that there are a couple of enjoyable spins to be taken from “Infernal Judgment”.