Best of 2016: Infinity Shred

The power of nostalgia is in its ability to make us long for our former selves. Founded in 2012, Infinity Shred is the sound of a perfect future doomed to relive its past. A forty-third century metropolitan utopia fatally obsessed with analog synths and distorted instruments. Armies of gracefully engineered, doe-eyed warriors mercilessly slaughtering each other under a dusky sky of neon stardust. A trio based in New York City crafting uplifting synth-driven pieces tinged with just the right amount of death.
With friendship at the core of Infinity Shred, members Damon Hardjowirogo and Nathan Ritholz struggled to figure out what was next after founding drummer George Stroud moved to Berlin shortly after the release of their 2013 debut LP, Sanctuary. Where Sanctuary, was still heavily rooted in the songwriting of Hardjowirogo, the addition of Clara Warnaar on drums in 2015 ushered in a new era of collaborative songwriting. Written over the course of nearly three years the band’s new album, Long Distance (self-released in October), sees the band explore beyond the sci-fi tinged post-rock of Sanctuary , by drawing inspiration from progressive trance, black metal and church choirs, all perhaps best exemplified by the final track of the album, “Catch These Blessed Hands.”
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with the band to ask about inspirational albums they listened to in 2016. Here they are.
Meishi Smile – Reclamation
This album is gorgeous and fleeting. The dark ambient sound is definitely a departure for them but it seems appropriate for how fucked up this year has been.
Oathbreaker – Rheia
Only discovered this band this year, but they are already up there with my favorites. I recently had the pleasure of seeing them live, and not only do they pull these songs off, but they are somehow even more powerful. Pretty sure the whole crowd was on the verge of tears.
Astronoid – Air
I’ve listened to this album about a 100 times since it came out. It pulls my favorite aspects of Emo, Shoegaze, and Metal into one package that sounds fucking amazing.
Sumac – What One Becomes
This album is the heaviest thing I’ve ever heard. There are a few moments on this record where it sounds like everything is exploding. Love it.
Eluvium – False Readings On 
This quickly became my favorite Eluvium album. Heartbreaking, introspective, and incredibly lush. I spent an hour alone in a cabin letting it consume me on tour. Clara joined and we just freaked out about how blanketing a low drone was for several minutes.
Suffocate For Fucks Sake – In My Blood 
It’s been 8 years since their last album and this triumphant return is a sheer display of power. Often groups who return after such a long hiatus usually end up making a “new” album that feels exactly like one of their older ones or put out something that just sucks a lot from how different it’s trying to be – In My Blood avoids both of these common issues very gracefully.
Boyslashfriend –  Sensitive Thug 
Ever since he released the Leather Weather EP in 2013 I’ve consistently looked out for new material from Boyslashfriend. This EP is one of the most genuine things I’ve ever heard- the painful honesty of this album has been resonating really strongly with me, especially the interludes.
Oneirogen – Convivium
We had the pleasure of playing with Mario in August. I feel similarly to how Nate feels about the darkness of Reclamation with Convivium. Leaving on tour two days after this election was strange timing, but it was also hugely empowering to explore that heaviness through our performance and what we were listening to together. We also have a huge respect for Mario as a multi-faceted artist: he’s an amazing classical composer and 1/2 of a sick metal band called Luminous Vault.
Daniel Wohl – Holographic 
Daniel Wohl is a composer who manages to evenly live in both worlds of electronic and contemporary classical music, sort of like Mario who just had a piece premiered by members of the LA Philharmonic. This whole album offers a smooth and often unexpected combination of acoustic and electronic sounds, which I relate to as a classically-trained musician who’s loved electronic music as long as I can remember.
Anohni – Hopelessness
This album reminds me of how I’ve felt about a lot of Björk albums, where I find the artistic statement so compelling, but depending on my mood, her voice either enhances the statement or gets in the way of it. These days it only enhances it. I shared this album with my parents, both classical musicians, and between the serious orchestral elements and the powerful content, it moved them both. Seeing that made me realize how Anohni managed to reach something really deep, dark and universal through this album.
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