Review: INFINITE HEX – “Simulacrum & Stimuli”

Infinite Hex’s first proper full-length, Simulacrum & Stimuli, provides the soundtrack to humanity’s eventual dissolution by way of technology’s growing supremacy, but with riffs.

To the uninitiated, Infinite Hex is the brainchild of New Zealand cyborg, Otis Chamberlain. In Infinite Hex, Chamberlain weaves together grindcore and mathcore sensibilities with modular synthesizer chaos. Though “cybergrind” would be an apt term to describe Infinite Hex, the truth is the project goes above and beyond the confines of that term. Infinite Hex’s effortless melding of organic and electronic instrumentation feels as if it was created by the hands of an automaton, which is what other supposed cybergrind acts struggle to accomplish.

If you were to imagine Converge’s Jane Doe through the lens of Aphex Twin, you may scratch the surface of what Infinite Hex is trying to convey on Simulacrum & Stimuli. Tracks such as the opening cut “xeno_encabulator.exe” feature a maddening flurry of spiraling and stuttering guitars that collide head-on with the schizoid, cyber hellscape sounds from the synths. This approach bleeds over into the more grindcore-sized tracks (ex: “Tragedy + Time = Comedy”), which waste no time in dragging you into an apocalyptic rave in which computer-crashing beats and staccato noise chords are blared from the speakers.

As the album progresses, the cyber aspects of Infinite Hex’s sound gradually become more dominant. Tracks like “Jacob’s Escalator” and “Jeffergenics” dial back the chaotic hardcore elements in favor of pulsating, vertigo-inducing electronic beats and glitchy rhythms. The album-closing duo of “Where Brain Cells Go to Die” and “Total Void Ghasm” feature sprawling sections of brooding atmospherics and drone that make you feel like you are floating in deep space, and running out of air.

Infinite Hex’s Simulacrum & Stimuli is a maddening affair that will appease fans of both Agoraphobic Nosebleed and the Metroid soundtrack. Bender Rodriguez would probably dig it too.

Rating: 8/10
Release Date: August 20, 2021
Favorite Tracks “xeno_encabulator.exe,” “Knuckle Draggers Inc.,” and “Slow-Roasted Republican in a White Whine Source”
For Fans Of: An Albatross, Genghis Tron, Gigantic Brain, and The Locust

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