Track by Track: The Infinity Ring – ‘Nemesis & Nativity’

photo: Chris Vigue

New England-based avant post-rock/industrial collective The Infinity Ring released their new full-length LP, Nemesis & Nativity, via Profound Lore Records back in mid April. This haunting, atmospheric record — recorded with Zach Weeks (The Armed, Russian Circles) at GodCity — builds worlds reminiscent of Swans and Nick Cave but still maintaining a sonic heaviness. Today Decibel proudly presents this track-by-track breakdown of Nemesis & Nativity provided by Cameron Moretti and Matt Bond of The Infinity Ring.

“Crown of Stars”
From the outset, we knew that this would be the opener. Like most of our songs, the initial ideas were developed on an acoustic guitar, followed by a strong rhythmic structure to graft all the other elements on to. The atmospheric synths, sound design, and violins really ended up bringing it all to life.

Reworked version of a song that has been in the repertoire since the beginning. Truly a live-tested song, quintessential.

“The Valley”
One of the earliest demos we ever did. Several iterations came before the product that is heard on the LP.

“Tiferet II”
Collectively written by jamming in our rehearsal space, with each of the elements unspooling from the repetitive guitar riff. Eventually, once lyrics were added, it became a sort of alternate reality version of our song with Jarboe, “Tiferet.” The gentle acoustic melodies mixed with washes of synth, choir, and other sound design elements give the first half of the track an enveloping lushness, with everything ultimately shifting gears into a more confident rock number.

“Pan and Syrinx”
Designed as a bookend to “Tiferet II.” A brief sanctuary of handpan experimentation and field recordings.

“Gift of Life”
Like “Temptress” and “The Valley,” this song has been with us since the beginning. Initially this was a quiet acoustic song, far from the version on the LP. Over the course of many live shows, it organically evolved into a triumphant and aggressive closer to most of our performances, and the energy of this “evolved” version was able to be successfully captured for the LP.

“Orpheus Dragonfly Satyr”
One of the last tracks recorded for the LP. Fred Gianelli of Psychic TV contributed synth. He stopped by the studio to hang out and we all decided to just plug in a bunch of machines, hit record, and start experimenting. This track was the result of this very otherworldly improvisational jam. It serves as the spiritual midpoint for the album, leading the listener into the darker, heavier, and more experimental second half.

“Lazarus Millennium Sun”
Built from the ground up around a strong and unfurling rhythm section. Days were spent in the studio capturing impressionistic yet driving drums, with everything else coming later. While recording the rest of the instrumentation, it became very clear that this song needed to become an austere, heavy, crashing force.

“Wax and Oil”
The process here was very similar to “Lazarus…” but an even greater emphasis on rhythm and texture was added. After the drums, each instrument was performed very instinctually based on the heaving layers of rhythms that came before it.

A variation on the ending rhythms of “Gift of Life,” but filtered through the processes of the previous two songs. This was initially just done as an experiment, but it evolved into it’s own  dense and crushing track.

“Nemesis and Nativity”
A culmination of the ideas expressed throughout the rest of the album, while also looking into the unknown of the future. A union of the more atmospheric approach to songwriting that helped create “Crown of Stars” and the heavy rhythm-based processes of the back half of the LP. The first half of the song is centered around a simple electronic percussion loop, with ethereal layers of guitars, synth, and acoustic percussion draped over it. Eventually things dramatically shift to a heavy and ecstatic second half, a logical endpoint to the LP.

Nemesis & Nativity is available here through Profound Lore.