Infernäl Mäjesty is this week’s Thrash Under Pressure candidate. Lesser-known, perhaps, than many other Canadian bands, they were fans of the nonsensical trend of using rock umlauts which was very popular in the 1980s.
They were formed in Vancouver in 1986 and were catapulted straight into the glory days of thrash metal.
Signed to Roadrunner, who were trying to collect as full a set as possible of thrash metal bands at the time, Infernäl Mäjesty released the semi-legendary album, None Shall Defy, a year later.
Was it groundbreaking or genre-defining stuff? Not really, but it’s a pretty decent debut album, it’s fast as hell and it is a definite candidate for Best Canadian Debut Metal Album of All Time. The whole thing is mosh-worthy, full of quick drumming and air-guitar-inspiring riffs. Bonus points for having a bass player known simply as Psycopath.
After such an amazing debut it then made little sense for Infernäl Mäjesty to record basically bugger all for 10 years. There were demos, but their next official release came on a split single with Custom. Where Is Your God? is a pretty heavy track. It leans a little towards death metal, but has at least one and a half feet in the thrash metal camp. Shades of early Sepultura here and a good way to set up what was to come.
The single was from the new Infernäl Mäjesty album, Unholier Than Thou, which eventually followed in August 1998. This album is much heavier than their debut. It sounds like a different band – and it was, really. A decade and a bit of heavy duty personnel changing will do that. The title track explodes into your face and the rest of the album continues in the same way. Metal was rarely this good at any point during the 90s. It’s all heavy as fuck and there’s no experimentation with hip hop or industrial sounds which were both fairly popular at the time.
Infernäl Mäjesty took look back at their earlier work with the release of the Creation of Chaos demo from 7 years previous. It was good, just not as good as Unholier Than Thou. And then there was the obligatory live album.
2004 saw Infernäl Mäjesty return with a new album. One Who Points to Death continued where Unholier Than Thou left off and took things to the next level. They were getting heavier and the death metal influence was even more obvious, so much so that the guitars have a bit of Bolt Thrower about their sound and the vocals were almost growled. Still excellent, but not strictly speaking thrash.
The six-track EP, Demon God, came along in 2007 and the metamorphosis seemed to be complete. Infernäl Mäjesty were now a full on death metal band.
Then there was a lengthy break until 2015, when Infernäl Mäjesty returned with a single. Another Day in Hell continues with their death metal period.
And then we were back to thrash again with the snappily-titled compilation album, Nigrescent Years of Chaos. This consisted of early demos and seemed a peculiar release at this point of their career.
Two more singles, House of War and No God, followed in 2016. Both were fairly decent death metal offerings.
Infernäl Mäjesty are still active, so don’t rule out another album at some point.
In summary, if you like thrash and death you might like Infernäl Mäjesty. Although I like prawns and custard, but I’m repulsed by the idea of having them both in the same dish.
Put them on your playlist: Skeletons in the Closet, Gone the Way of All Flesh, Virgin Blood Tastes Purest at Night