November 20, 2019

This lot got together one cold November evening in Oslo in 2015, them being Norwegian, the plan being (as with all of us?!) to guzzle whiskey and contemplate forming a band. Infringement was formed shortly after and their debut album Transition released in 2017. This was a concept album exploring the development of a single Norwegian family across different generations, apparently as seen through the eyes of an anthropomorphic house (I don’t think I’ve used that word in an album review before!)

Fast forward to November 2019 after two years writing, fine-tuning and recording, and their second album is now released upon an unsuspecting world. Alienism follows a similar approach to their debut, it’s again an intense concept album with just four tracks on it. The large-scale story peeks into the mind of patients at the Gentmire Institute, a (imaginary) Norwegian institution at the forefront of psychiatric innovation, as seen through the journals of the commissioner of said establishment. The idea being that we all have the opportunity to enter the world of The Alienist, allowing us to escape reality and seek comfort in our minds… quite gentle relaxing stuff!

Musically, they remind me of a slightly wacky cross between Genesis, Devo and…um…Alex Harvey. Actually not so daft, all three bands had/have a large sense of the theatrical, and Infringement do come from the same sort of musical stable, as the picture below so ably demonstrates!

On their debut album, the band were described as playing something in between neo-progressive rock and symphonic rock while flirting with various genres. This second album does actually demonstrate a good deal of stylistic flexibility, there’s some big funky rhythms mixing it with very 70’s melodies. It’s symphonic rock not unlike early Genesis and Camel, with unexpected twists and progressive bar changes, and fans of those bands might well enjoy this. The quality of the mix itself is sharp and clear, having been mixed and mastered by Karl Groom of Threshold fame.