Like many, I was enchanted by Ad Infinitum’s distinct sound from early on. With tracks like “Marching on Versailles” and “See You in Hell”, which saw a combination of commanding vocal prowess mixed with cinematic level orchestrations, it was like nothing I had ever heard before. Formed in 2018 by Melissa Bonny, Ad Infinitum is a Swiss Symphonic Metal band that later added the additions of drummer Niklas Müller, guitarist Adrian Theßenvitz, and bassist Korbinian Benedict to complete the heavy metal quartet we have all come to admire. In the middle of the pandemic, they dropped their debut album: Chapter I – Monarchy and quickly attracted a considerable amount of attention across the worldwide metal scene. Ad Infinitum makes themselves stand out by combining heavy, powerful riffs with epic orchestrations, soul-stirring vocal melodies, and fearsome growls touched by a bit of finesse – a sound that has become more prominent on their second album: Chapter II: Legacy released on October 29th, 2021.
To even glance at Chapter II – Legacy’s album art would tell you there is something more to this band than their Symphonic metal status let’s on. They have carved out a path in the metal world in two short years with their fantastical orchestrations, otherworldly vocals, and impressive musical talents.
Their first release off the new album, “Unstoppable”, premiered on August 26th, 2021 on YouTube and comes out absolutely on fire; powerful drums echo in a cascade of passion and emotion unseen in this year’s metal scene. Striking guitar solos invade your ears, edging tears from your eyes as you feel a wave of ecstasy rush through you. This track demands attention in wave after wave of musical brilliance with elevated high vocals and terrific solos that not only welcome you to Ad Infinitum’s new chapter but, throw you into it headfirst.
The second release from the album, “Afterlife” features the vocals of Nils Molin (Dynazty, Amaranthe) and captures the same brilliant essence that Unstoppable does; pulling you down and lunging at you with hit after hit of emotion as brought on by the talented vocal combo of Nils and Melissa. Backed by ferocious rhythms and high-impact orchestration, even the drop in this song makes you feel like you’re wandering the halls of some darkly written fantasy tale.
“Reinvented” is what pulls us in from the very beginning with eerie chimes that quickly rise into an epic of musical mastery from ear-piercing vocals to pulsing drums, and harmonious strings. The passion of Chapter II – Legacy is evident upon immediate listening to this track. A perfect introduction to an album which easily becomes a staple in any listener’s playlist.
Tracks like “Inferno” and “Breathe” provide a perfect break from the overwhelming strength and power of the album’s other tracks. Yet, they offer up the same level of intensity in a shift of elegant vocals, hair-raising guitar solos, and beautiful, uplifting orchestrations. The degree of devotion in these tracks make them just as admirable as the heavier tracks with relative ease.
Songs like “Your Enemy” take us down a darker, more grunge-like path with heavy bass, sludgy guitars, and thunderous drums. Melissa’s voice provides a level of refinement that strangely seems to fit with the demonic screams like a battle between light vs dark that create an elusive harmony.
“Animals” provides a ballad-level melody that features siren-like singing combined with ferocious drops that offer up a bit of light-heartedness before dropping you into a speed-powered trance of harsh growls and strong soprano calls echoed in the following track, “Into the Night”. This song is easily the catchiest of the album’s track list with a head-bobbing chorus and gentle bridge that is an easy feature for enjoyment for both new and old listeners alike.
There is no absence of symphonic expertise displayed throughout this album with a ballad like “Son of Wallachia” seemingly appearing from nowhere; drawing in attention from imaginative minds who have a stark image of a rain-soaked battlefield painted in their mind through vivid lyrics and emotional guitar solos. Such imagery is hard to create with shortened space for description and Ad Infinitum does so with utter perfection. It’s easy to see why this, and “Unstoppable” became my favourite songs from the album, and I’ve already put them on repeat for constant listening.
Dwindling on the last bits of the album are speedy tracks like “My Justice, Your Pain” that still capture us with entrancing riff work and fearsome growls. Melissa’s vocals on this track soar through beautiful highs and hardened lows that offer a refreshing taste of range that almost brings the album full circle.
Ending the album are the tracks “Haunted” and “Lullaby” that suit their titles with absolution. “Haunted” begins with ghostly guitars and goose bump-inducing symphonies; an introduction that haunts your mind in an instant before letting you fall into a pit of mystical melody and lingering verses. This song quickly paints your mind with the images of an elegant, yet terrifying masquerade from a long-forgotten age.
“Lullaby” ties the album out with mesmerizing heavy beats bringing curiosity to the song’s title choice. Yet, it’s Melissa’s vocals that once again complete the track with an angelic tone bringing about tranquility to an otherwise aggressive track. In its entirety, Ad Infinitum’s newest album: Chapter II – Legacy, provides us with not only an exquisite sampling of their Symphonic range but, their ability to harness that range and put it on display in a feature of atmospheric vocals, spine-tingling riffs, deepened bass, and feverish drumming. This is easily one of the most well-founded albums of 2021, and I can’t wait to listen to it over and over again.
4. Your Enemy
5. Afterlife (feat. Nils Molin)
8. Into the Night
9. Son of Wallachia
10. My Justice, Your Pain
13. Unstoppable (Instrumental)
14. Inferno (Instrumental)
15. Son of Wallachia (Orchestral Version)