Chapter I: Monarchy is the first chapter in the symphonic metal band Ad Infinitum’s discography. This epic debut is extremely catchy with beautiful vocal lines and historical stories told throughout. Most of the band wear plague doctor masks because of the stories they write about taking place around Black Death times. (Editor’s note: Sounds like today, huh?)
By far the most stand out aspect of Chapter I: Monarchy are the vocals. Melissa Bonny has an absolutely beautiful voice, and the vocal melodies definitely seem to be the highlight of the album. The instruments also seem to be putting a big emphasis on the vocals, and the band also does a good job of mixing in the ocasional screamed couple of lines throughout.
The instruments really capture an older, fantasy feel while still being able to crank in heavier sections when needed. The heavier sections aren’t super common or long-lasting on this album, but the emphasis is on the vocal melodies make sense when put together with the surroundings. They come in when they’re really needed.
Songs like “Marching On Versailles” do a wonderful job putting all of the elements – from the grand strings to the heavier guitar melodies to both beautiful vocal melodies and screamed vocals – together into one of the best tracks on the album. The way every section in the song transitions into the next with those huge contrasts is really impressive. And for people craving something heavier, the song “Maleficent” has a breakdown and guitar solo in the bridge.
Ad Infinitum do a great job incorporating the symphonic and classical elements with the newer, heavier elements in their music, and they top it off with beautiful soaring vocals carried throughout their debut album Chapter I: Monarchy.
Chapter I: Monarchy is out now on Napalm Records. Buy it here!