InFictions – Maps of Revenge & Forgiveness

Prog. The right type of prog. Powerful, skilful (but not overtly technical) and with the acumen of the precisest of snipers. That’s the sound of the brutal InFictions album, Maps of Revenge & Forgiveness.

Well, that’s not entirely truth. It’s not only an expansive sound made from prog rock tricks & shenanigans, there’s a lot of folk and post rock injected and spiked in this cocktail (beautifully packed with small paintings based on the songs, we hear). A thousand voices may come and go once the guitars explode with furious and rightful anger after a few minutes of lamentations, and that’s the way it goes for this mostly apocalyptic album (fitting year to release it).

Getting ahead of myself. It actually starts very loud with ‘This road leads to the village of informers’. A deftly driven ebow heralds the explosiveness of the track, unforgiving and relentless, as the pace that we keep. A moment of respite is allowed for the most of ‘Frozen River’, but then, inevitably, it all comes crashing down.

There might be a formula to the sounds found here. Slow folky build with post rock elements, then full blown rock. Nothing wrong with that, it might be a framework, but the way this framework is approached is sheer poetry. ‘1st Intersection’, easily my fave of all the album, is a fantastic gem. The aforementioned build up does veer into different territories, none the wildest as the rocking finale. Somebody headbang for me to this one. ‘Line drawings’ does something similar, but the explosive finale is more of an aftershock than a real plaque movement.

Then’s the curveballs. ‘Laughter track’ (which you can get for gratis from our mix cd) is more on the introspective side of the spectrum, showing the band’s passion for folk and atmospheric works. ‘Orchards’ almost goes for an explosive finale, but remembers that sometimes, the loudest sound is being quiet, tactful and firm. There will be a final moment of peace in ‘2nd Intersection’, but after that, it will get loud.

Remember when I said that ‘1st Intersection’ was my fave? I lied. Sorry, Sully. ‘The Silence of the Sea’ is pure explosiveness, catharsis in the form of a solo full of remorse clashing with the wistful notes. The almost choral approach to those final moments gives me chills and a similar trick is pulled in the similarly powerful album closer, ‘Figurines’. ‘The ghost of all sins’ is probably the loudest sad song InFictions have to offer and the feedback moments before the final freakout are what probably drove me to be unfaithful to my previous two choices of fave song and choose this one. The haunting piano finale probably helped (that and my loose morals).

Prog rock always gets a bad rep for being a genre where people are more worried about their technical skill than the delivery of emotions. Maybe it’s the mixed breed approach that InFictions took (some hints of the side projects here!) that makes it work and soar above any possible tags you could try and pin on them. Great album.

Words: Sam

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