For Eastern European outfit Infected Rain, the last decade has seen their reach increase with the same consistency as their sound. Cultivating a multifaceted brand that envelopes elements of technically-dynamic groove metal, with the punch of nu-metal and the big melodies of metalcore - some five full length albums in the band remains tough to pin down to any particular style but their own.
What remains most impressive about the unit however is the kind of confidence in which they create. Spending all but the last three years of their more than a decade in game as independent artists, the Moldovan collective managed to make the kind of noise that compelled the greater community of heavy music to pay attention.
Though Infected Rain had long established their footing, backed by a catalog of three respected albums, countless shows and tours, and a tenure of 10 years steeped in the culture, 2019 proved to be pivotal for the crew. Cementing their creative kinship with International proprietors of heavy in Napalm Records, Endorphin resulted in a groundswell of momentum that propelled Infected Rain to new level. Emerging from regional mainstays to a global force, the album's ten track assault underscored by knockout blows like "Passerby" and "Black Gold" established what fans of the band had known all along - Infected Rain was the real deal.
Anchored by the command of vocalist Lena Scissorhands and the crunch of guitarist tandem Vadim Ojog and Serghei Babici, the band asserted their position in the landscape of modern metal after years of beating the same drum. What remains even more telling about the fortitude of the band was that they achieved their acclaim without bending - no compromises. The climb of Infected Rain might have taking longer than most, but the band's inability to waver is arguably what makes their sound even more convincing.
Despite the delay of last couple of years, Infected Rain have captured the same energy of Endorphin with the release of their fifth and undoubtedly their most potent offensive to date, Ecdysis. Leaning on their ability to craft effective, emotive songs, the conviction of Lena Scissorhands looms large as songs like "Fighter," "The Realm of Chaos" and "Longing" span an emotional spectrum that speaks to the personal testimony of the album. The signature of Infected Rain finds a balance of aggression and authenticity, two elements that ring most apparent on each of the 12 tracks that comprise Ecdysis.
Vocalist Lena Scissorhands weighed in on how the band's latest effort reinforces the kind of creative consistency that has been a cornerstone of Infected Rain.
All the hype surrounding Ecdysis seems to present Infected Rain like a new band, however the core unit has been active for well over a decade. What about your evolution do you feel is finally resonating with an international audience?
Lena - I think this will always happen - new listeners, discovering the band for the first time - they start over and for them the band is new. However, I think in our case, that is mainly because for 10 years we were independent. We only just signed with the label in early 2019. There was only so much we could do as an independent band coming from a small Eastern European country. But we never gave up and worked really hard to be where we are, and we are very happy to have such professional and supportive team as a Napalm Records on board. I also think that for all the new listeners, it is a beautiful surprise to find out that the band they like actually has so much music already that they can all enjoy.
Endorphin in 2019 really seemed to be a turning point for IR. How did the continued growth of your audience impact you as songwriters?
Lena - Yes, with Endorphin, we started a new era of the band because it was the first album that we released under a label. That being said, I don’t think that the amount of listeners or the growth of the audience influenced us in any specific way. We are always just doing what we love, sincere and real. Our music comes from the heart and we compose and write everything that comes from the heart. However, in time we change as people and grow as musicians so, I think that is why every single album sounds a little different.
How does the term “female-fronted” resonate with you? Do you feel like it’s mislabeling the band? Do you feel like it’s a misnomer in how it categories artists? Is it odd that we often see female-fronted but never see the term, “male-fronted” band?
Lena - Honestly, I think this shouldn’t exist. What I mean is, music and art in general should never be categorized by sex, nationality, ethnicity or age. Music and art is mainly about emotions, and every single human being has emotions no matter what gender. I think labels are a little bit overwhelming in general. Why are we always trying to put people in boxes?
The band’s sound has long been a healthy mix of progressive and nu-metal with the kind of melodic sensibilities of metalcore - is that an organic mix or does the songwriting process involve you making sure each of those components is in each finished song?
Lena - This is a very organic way to go for Infected Rain. We don’t follow a specific genre or some specific metal genres when we compose. We go with what feels right. Because our music is a roller coaster of emotions, it only feels right to apply different shades and shapes to it. We love to be diverse and free while composing.
Ecdysis is being praised as the band's best work to date. Yet you wrote and recorded this record during one of the most turbulent times in recent history. How did the climate of the last two years make it’s way into album?
Lena - I think the current situation in the world, and to be precise - the past two years we've lived through - influenced every single one of us as people and as artists. It also gave us a lot of time to make peace with certain things from the past, learn something new, be productive, etc. That is exactly what I did. I always write about my life, my own fears and emotions. This time, especially, it felt right to dig deeper and make peace with certain demons. Also, of course, what was happening in the world with the virus, the natural catastrophes and riots influenced me a lot too. I just had to write about it.
What prompted you to collaborate with Heidi of Butcher Babies for “The Realm of Chaos” - did the song come first or did the idea to work with her inspire the song?
Lena - The song came first. The idea was born when we were working on the mastering of the entire album already. We just wanted to add an extra spice to this song so, organically, we thought about my friend Heidi. She was very thrilled and happy to be part of it which made it even better.
There seems to be a statement loaded with starting and ending an album with entries called Postmortem. What was the message you were conveying with that?
Lena - Postmortem is a very special song. We just had to bring the mood back to the first song when we ended the album. This song is about a constant search for happiness. Always unhappy with what we have and fantasizing about what other people have, thinking that they have it better. The main character, the hitchhiker, is so lost. Without knowing where to go he is leaving his life behind, blind to the achievements and people that are already in his life. Lured to the luxury and appearance of a different world, he is slowly but surely walking towards annihilation. This is something that unfortunately is very common in the society we live in nowadays. Not knowing what’s real and what’s not, not knowing what the true and genuine values of life are.
After more than a decade and five full length albums, has this album been the most rewarding for you as a band?
Lena - It's very hard to say, because we haven’t gone on tour for this album yet, and we haven’t given it enough time yet, however, it is definitely a very strong album that brought out a lot of new listeners and satisfied all of our old fans and listeners. We are very, very happy with the feedback we’ve received so far.
Ecdysis from Infected Rain is currently available via Napalm Records. Stream/download the album - HERE