A melodic black metal band with a promising career trajectory, Sheidim infamously released their debut album entitled Shrines of the Void courtesy of vaunted underground label Dark Descent Records. The album was only the beginning, but was a major step for a band that had only released one EP prior to that album. This time around, they’ve released another EP’s worth of material they call Infamata. They bring their underground credibility to the forefront of melodic black metal’s peak notoriety, having bands that represent the sub-genre like headliner Watain does.
Sheidim is on the rise; the music is darker, more nuanced in tempo changes and riff patterns than most melodic black metal bands employ in their songwriting particulars. Infamata is even better than Shrines of the Void, in my opinion. There are subtle doses of thrash on Infamata, sometimes galloping in tempo while the riffs shred and strum to chord patterns that sound fresh.
Label: I, Voidhanger Records
“Sheidim” is the Hebrew equivalent for the word demons, and Sheidim show enough musical competency and vision to succeed in ascertaining this sneaking suspicion that they aren’t simply a band looking to casually release records. Sheidim hails from Barcelona, Spain – a place not otherwise known for melodic black metal. The band’s releases reveal the meticulous care the members of Sheidim have partaken to hone their craft before unleashing their body of work. However, as all of Sheidim’s releases maintain an acceptable level of quality and style, it doesn’t occur to the listener that the band is new. They may not be revolutionary at this point in their continued existence, but they are getting increasingly better and more established.
As is the trend with an increasing number of new releases, Sheidim like to incorporate a variety of tempos, never simply blasting from inception to conclusion, never simply blasting and stopping only to repeat the formula to stubborn monotony. They like to think that songs are supposed to evolve in tone, mood, and structure, and Infamata defies machine-like songwriting tendencies some bands use over a lack of imagination.
The songs on Infamata sometimes blur into each other, but they all make an impression of being one part of a greater whole. It’s not quite like the black metal that Watain has become known for – a good song here and there, but accessible so that the album is viewed as successful largely for certain hit songs. There is no mistaking Infamata for any of Watain’s material. Sheidim writes each song to be a cohesive part of the entire EP, and listening enjoyment is usually reserved for the ending of the listening session, not the conclusion of one track, or another.
Sheidim does a better job on Infamata, and fans of their debut album had better check this out. Whether Sheidim shows even more growth in the seemingly limited scene of melodic black metal remains to be seen. My only agenda in writing this review is letting fans know that Infamata is a subtle step up from Shrines of the Void, and in a melodic black metal scene increasingly lacking in quality songwriting and aesthetic quality, Sheidim holds ground that they still have what it takes to write and release material that is genre-defining, and material which will continue to please fans and members of the band alike for years to come.