Swiss symphonic metal quartet Ad Infinitum’s debut album, Chapter 1: Monarchy, sounds as grandiose as its title directs. “Infected Monarchy” opens the album with a dream like piano and serene strings that build up as Melissa Bonny’s beautiful, yet powerful vocals commence and the guitars explode. The song transitions between tense drumming and heavy grooves interspersed with tranquil tempo changes while Bonny’s vocals soar above the chaos.
“Marching On Versailles” is a dynamic track with militaristic drumming accompanied with staccato riffing that echoes a march. The harmonious chorus contrasts with the song’s hard driving nature, and showcases Bonny’s vocal range. “Maleficient” is a hellish track with its churning riff and industrial like percussion. Guitarist Adrian Thessenvitz unleashes a nice lead during the song’s midsection before the song plods to its conclusion.
“See You In Hell” is one of the more accessible tracks on Monarchy, with its slow tempo and melancholy yet catchy chorus. It is no wonder that it is the second single off the record. “Fire and Ice” is an emotional ballad with its haunting bass line and halcyon guitar riffs that complement Bonny singing of a love as strong as the elements. “Revenge” is notable for its galloping tempo and baroque guitars that create a dark atmosphere of a person on the hunt for retribution.
Melissa Bonny possesses an amazing voice and it is readily apparent on Chapter 1. Her vocals never waver and convey emotion that give the songs an extra degree of passion. The music is dynamic but with a pronounced technicality making the songs more enjoyable. The classical samples are not overused and Infinitum have a great sense of playing loud and soft. The production is lush yet clear, which gives Chapter 1 a full sound.
Chapter 1: Monarchy is a strong debut album that will impress fans of symphonic and gothic metal. The album is diverse, yet cohesive, and nine of the ten songs clocking at under five minutes. There is enough room for musical growth as the band does not overwhelm the listener. Ad Infinitum is probably saving that for Chapter 2.
check out the band’s official website here: