With Infinite Games, The Black Queen are now so much more than a side project. With The Dillinger Escape Plan’s end, The Black Queen rises, building on their brilliant debut with a more challenging engaging piece of art. Infinite Games is a passion project that brings in influences from every corner of the musical spectrum, then showcases them in this modern alt-pop gem. It sees a distinct step away from rock music and may not click with many rock fans as the lack of guitars and dreamy soundscapes rely heavily on electronic beats. Nonetheless it is a band finding their identity whilst stepping out of the shadow of the members previous bands.
The biggest change between Infinite Games and Fever Daydream is the addition of more techno influenced beats. Almost every song has techno leanings. The variation between tracks comes from the more poppy elements on the album. Unlike its predecessor, Infinite Games does not rely on individual songs. It feels like a body of work. That is no surprise seeing as only one single was released prior to the albums release (Thrown Into The Dark). That’s not to say there aren’t outstanding hooks on this record. No Accusations, Lies About You and Spatial Boundaries are perfect examples of these hooks.
What truly makes this record special is that it blends multiple styles with ease. The first half of the album follows this poppy, industrial, techno style. The second half gets more experimental. As it adds more 80s soundtrack vibes (100 to Zero) as well as guitars in an almost Radiohead style (Porcelain Veins). This experimentation is what keeps this record interesting and maintains your attention. Giving this experimentation the time and attention it deserves is rewarded as the closing track (One Edge Of Two) is the highlight of the record. The industrial beat oozes Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode influences whilst the dreamy vocals and techno undertones immerse you in one of the songs of the year.
Infinite Games is an album that requires time. It’s not a pop record. It weaves poppy hooks and beats around immersive and dreamy electronic beats that are impossible not to get lost in. It may take a few listens to truly appreciate the brilliance of this album, but it is worth it. As The Black Queen have produced an album of the year contender with this sophomore effort