Inferion Celebrates 20 Years of Metal During Kryptonite Metal Fest

Inferion, 20 years of death metal.EXPAND
Inferion, 20 years of death metal.
Photo by Niuvis Martin
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Urban Dictionary, the old bastion of the English language and Her Spellings and Grammars that it is, defines “inferion” as: “A person with low intellect and amazingly poor moral judgement. Often times [sic] ignores that which discomforts them and clutches to useless ideals for no reason. They have low IQ's and are more likely then [sic] normal to join a fundamentalist cult.”

That’s oddly specific, especially since vocalist and guitarist of Miami metal band Inferion Nick Reyes sees a different set of adjectives describing his band as it celebrates 20 years of heavy metal. “Not quitting and never accepting defeat have been the driving force behind the band. The way we see it, it is a celebration of determination, success, failures, and 20 years’ worth of support from our fans and supporters.”

The celebration will continue this weekend at Churchill's Pub when the Kryptonite Metal Fest hosts the band's 20-year reunion.

Formed in 1996 as a black/death metal outfit, Inferion's first release, '98’s Infinite Dying Souls, saw the band getting its early legs with a mixture of the aforementioned subgenres of metal tinged with elements of thrash that they mixed at Miami’s Heaven’s Gate Studios. This would be followed by a pair of demos before releasing their first full-length work, Firewar, in 2003.

This album marked a slight departure in sound, with Reyes completing the recording himself and taking the music in a more guitar-to-vocals-driven ratio. Exalting previously touched thematic elements that populate death metal, Reyes brought in a more fatalistic approach to the lyrics, and Firewar continues to enjoy admiration from longtime fans and recent converts.

Helping the band cement a local following and catapulting them into the U.S.’s metal consciousness was South Florida’s metal scene at the time. “Some bands from that era are still around in one sense or another, which is outstanding,” Reyes says. “A desire to push the envelope and make some sort of lasting impression on the music scene prompted us to start.”

After 20 years of making music, there are bound to be hiatuses and aspects of life that take precedence over music, and Inferion has had its share. Members have come and gone; Reyes, for his part, has made a career out of the armed forces as well as experimenting with different forms of music like Cayos, an experimental electronic outlet through which he has released albums through Josh Kay and Romulo del Castillo’s Schematic Records.

In this incarnation, Reyes’ aggro-metallic influences shine through, from discordant instrumentation to field recordings and collaborations with Del Castillo’s orientalist persona, Takeshi Muto. Odd? Yes, but in relative tandem with Inferion’s recorded output, which has always toed the line between the organic and digital. It's kept him fresh and redirected his attentions and motivations in a positive, musical manner.

Rounding out the lineup for the 20-year reunion is Ray Mitchell on guitars and the rhythm section comprised of Carlos Delgado on drums and Frank Gross, formerly of Kult ov Azazel, on bass and vocals. With its most recent LP, This Will Decay, released in 2014, the band has returned to full-on black metal but has incorporated the more melodic elements they’ve mastered along the way.

Fans can expect a set list filled with the band’s extensive catalogue, with some newer tracks it's currently demoing as well as some Castlevania covers. Will the reunion show positively capture the spirit of the mid-'90s? Hopefully not. The point of metal, or any kind of music, especially after two decades, is to evolve.

“It's difficult to see where metal is going to go,” explains Reyes. “Because I remember in the '90s I didn't think we’d been able to predict any direction in metal. I would give the cue card answer and say 'heavier,' but I'm going to take the high road and say ‘experimentaler.’”

At the tenth-annual Kryptonite Metal Festival. 2 p.m. Saturday, February 18, at Churchill’s Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami.; 305-303-3976; churchillspub.com. Admission is $10 at the door.

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