I typically try to give priority to the bands and labels that still go to the trouble of sending me physical promos, but even with the CD sitting here on my desk, I somehow managed to sleep on Bog of the Infidel. How does that happen? What can I say, I totally fucked up and the EP got lost in the stacks of CDs and other ephemera that clutters my sorry excuse for a work space. Fortunately, I recently managed to unearth To Corrupt Your Sons and Lust After Your Daughters, and I’m glad I did because it’s an entertaining slab of USBM that strikes a deft balance between grit and melody.
Bog of the Infidel have been compared to Dissection, and to an extent I can see that, but they’re no mere tribute act. Although the band does craft icy mini-epics that recall the more canorous qualities of the early Scandinavian scene, there is a rough-around-the-edges quality that is distinctly American. They possess a knack for weaving darkly hued melodies that incorporate a sinister streak, snaking their way into your skull and hanging out there for weeks on end.
It’s a pleasant surprise to hear an American underground band exploring this side of black metal rather than the Black Witchery-derived bestial/war metal side, or worse yet, dry-humping the corpse of Transilvanian Hunger. It seems anymore that band after band are just trying to whip up as much of an indecipherable racket as possible or mix black metal with shitty punk to disguise a lack of riffs/talent. Not so for Bog of the Infidel; one gets the impression from listening to this EP that this is a band who takes pride in their craft and strives to improve. It’s an oldschool mindset to be sure, but as black metal has continued to degrade and decay over the years, it’s a refreshing one.
My only complaint about To Corrupt Your Sons and Lust After Your Daughters is that it’s too damn short. Bog of the Infidel certainly have the riffs and manage to build up a great atmosphere over the course of these eighteen minutes, but I want more. Fortunately, it appears they have a 2010 full length that I’ve yet to hear, so at least there’s something to explore while I await their next release. Fans of meticulously crafted melodic black metal would do well to seek this one out.