Ad Infinitum are emerging as one of modern metal’s brightest gems - Knotfest
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Ad Infinitum are emerging as one of modern metal’s brightest gems

Posted by Knotfest in Culture on June 23, 2023

Ad Infinitum frontwoman Melissa Bonny discusses steering a new band through the pandemic, growing into their sound and writing their latest record: ‘Chapter III – Downfall’.

Words by Jon Garcia

If it’s felt like Ad Infinitum have been around far longer than they actually have, it’s thanks to the
relentless pace they’ve kept themselves on. Since 2020 they’ve released three full-length
records, an acoustic album, two live streams and over a dozen music videos.

It was never something they planned on or even wanted to do. They’ve just been a product of
the times.

“I don’t think we would have released so much music if it wasn’t for the pandemic,” vocalist and
Ad Infinitum founder Melissa Bonny said.

Yet, in just over three years they’ve established themselves as a rising star in modern metal.
Led by Bonny’s incredible voice, Ad Infinitum’s symphonic metal backbone blends with down-
tuned guitars, grandiose lyrical themes and massive choruses, all while utilizing the diverse
tastes of its four accomplished musicians to pepper their songs with exciting twists and
surprises.

Their latest album, Chapter III – Downfall – a concept album about Cleopatra – is the result of
those years in the pressure cooker. It sees the band growing into their sound even further,
discovering and pushing the limits of their creativity. Think Symphony X meets Evanescence,
where musicianship and flamboyancy fit with hard rock and even pop hooks.

STARTING THEIR CAREER WITH A PANDEMIC

Formed by Bonny in 2018, Ad Infinitum is a Swiss/German outfit rounded out by guitarist Adrian
Thessenvitz, drummer Niklas Müller, and bassist Korbinian Benedict. Though Bonny had
already written half of the debut before the lineup was solidified, they had no choice but to hone
their songwriting chemistry once the pandemic shut down the world.

Plenty of bands got lost in the chaos of the time, but Ad Infinitum managed to make a
connection with their audience with both quantity and quality. To them, it was a no-brainer to fill
the touring void with as much music as possible.

“We really wanted to tour and promote our first record, and then the second one as well, and
tours were just being postponed, canceled,” Bonny said. “So we were like, we’re a new band,
the only thing that we can do to stay connected to the people that enjoyed our first record is to
give them a second record and a third record.

“Fortunately, we were finally able to go on tour at the end of [2022], which felt amazing because
that was the first time we were on the road for real. Different countries, different people and we
could see the growth of the band.”

If there were times during the pandemic where the band felt like they were running in mud and
throwing content into the endless void, it was all validated once they got on stage.

“When you’re sitting at home you don’t really know. You see YouTube comments, you see
people sharing your stuff, but you don’t really see how many people would actually go to a
concert, wear your shirt and sing your lyrics. We could see that for the first time, which was
great.”

People connect to the band because Ad Infinitum strikes a perfect balance of nostalgia and
forward thinking. Fans of Nightwish, Kamelot and Sonata Arctica can find as much to like in their
music as young teenagers just starting to delve further in the genre. Combined with Bonny’s
magnetism as a frontwoman and their talent for writing good songs, their arrival is no surprise.

“It was very important for us not to be a copy of something that already existed,” Bonny said.
“There are so many bands that of course you’re going to hear a little bit of this band and a little
bit of that band, but we have influences that are so many genres and so many moods,
atmospheres. From the darkest death metal to some pop vocal lines.”

It was nerve wracking trying to contain all their influences at first. Bonny and crew felt they had
to weigh expectations of the band’s sound against exploring other places they wanted to go.

“When we wrote the second record we didn’t dare go so far from the first record. We were like,
‘We’re going to shock people,”” Bonny said laughing. “‘People who liked the first record are not
going to like it if we go that far.’ We went gradually from the first record … to where we want to
push this band and not do something completely different, because you have to somehow be
coherent with your sound.”

Those previous reservations went out the window when it came time to write album three. Their
growing confidence helped fuel their creativity to follow their musical hearts. It allowed them the
freedom to focus on what they wanted to sound like, rather than what they should sound like.

Just as important was their experience on tour, which opened their eyes to other aspects of their
songcraft.

“Especially for that third record, what we had in mind was live shows,” Bonny said. “If you listen
to, for example, Chapter I, it’s going to be more symphonic. More like, the kind of tracks you
listen to in your living room. Maybe not all of them, but if you compare to Chapter III it’s more
songs that if we go on stage at a festival, people will be able to dance, to sing, to jump and so
on.”

EXPERIENCE CULMINATING ON THE LAST RECORD

Chapter III – Downfall is not a shocking departure, nor is it more of the same. Instead, it’s a band
blossoming into their musical identity and just starting to scratch the surface of their potential.
Combining the best aspects of their previous releases with new and exciting ideas, it gives Ad
Infinitum a potential place on bills with bands ranging from Epica and Blind Guardian to
Spiritbox and Architects.

“It’s more mature,” Bonny said of the record. “The result is not just the result of this album, but
also the experience we gained from the previous two. When you blend all these inspirations
together it’s the signature of Adrian, Korbi, Melissa and Niklas. It goes together and it creates
our sound.

“I think we were … a little bit shy to take that step. Now, third record we did it. You evolve as a
musician, you evolve as a person. I’m also looking forward to the fourth record because I also
think it’s going to be an evolution.”

Ad Infinitum are just getting started, but what they’ve accomplished already is remarkable. In
barely half a decade, Bonny has helped steer them from an unknown upstart to three releases
with Napalm records. She’s sung live and appeared on an album for Kamelot, one of her
favorite bands.

With several albums and tours now under the belt, Bonny is adding more and more skills to her
repertoire that were impossible to do from home.

“[After the most recent tour] I felt a lot more confident with my voice and what I could do. So I
was like, ‘Oh, if I was at that place at the moment I recorded the third record, there are some
things that I would have done differently.’ Some tools that I didn’t have back then. So those tools that we acquired through touring, through playing, and through writing songs as well, they are
going to be present in the fourth record.”

The gears for the next record are already turning. With every passing show, writing session and
album, Ad Infinitum grow farther and farther into the band they’re supposed to be. Where their
sound will take them and how far they can reach remains to be seen.

But for anyone watching – or listening – along, it’s going to be quite a journey to experience.


Chapter III – Downfall by Ad Infinitum is available now via Napalm Records. Get the album – HERE


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