Review: Mario Infantes – Antidote to a Turbulent Mind

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Mario Infantes Cult Of Lilith solo album

Cult Of Infantes

Released July 7th 2023 via Lost Future Records, Cult of Lilith vocalist Mario Infantes’s debut studio album Antidote to a Turbulent Mind permeated the the airwaves and minds of listeners everywhere. Infantes’s ambient debut is synth dreamscape that draws in the listener and works as a backing for a tangible sonic journey. Mario infuses elements of ambience, horror movie-style dramatic interjections and tangible drum machines and virtual instruments to craft a trippy rabbit hole that’s impossible not to delve into the very depths.

Mario Infantes uses his first solo outing to weave a whimsical and dark story through a visceral soundscape. This is a great record to put on while having a long walk in the woods or on a quiet night. The atmosphere is tangible and doesn’t rely on auditory clichés or tropes to get a reaction out of the listener. Every goosebump, and every emotional peak and valley feels appropriately laid out, built up to and earned. While ambience isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, this feels like a great first introduction for those interested in taking a sonic journey. Pretty impressive for a one man show.

“Antidote” is a really interesting way to open the project up. It’s “strange” personified and I feel like that’s a good thing. Chock full of Interesting ideas, it’s an overall intriguing number that builds anticipation and wonder for the rest of the record. “Ecstatica” is an effective follow-up and generates a fireside atmosphere. Without busting out any recognizable tropes it gives off this “80s horror vibe”. As it twists and turns, it grows somewhat militaristic near the end. “Draumavatn” is colored by interesting auxiliary textures. It’s cryptic, and mysterious. It makes me feel like I’m walking through an isolated cave, in a heavily wooded, unexplored area.

“Explore The Woods…” has a really entrancing use of piano, horns and auxiliary percussion. It helps the record succeed in its quest to tell a story by atmosphere alone. “…And Find my Grotto”. As a follow up it does its job and carries the story along, but it feels like it overstays its welcome a bit. “Pulso” has this dark ambient breathing that stands out and causes a sense of claustrophobia. As if the breathing is so close, you would swear it’s right next to you but you can`t exactly pinpoint it. It starkly transitions with its sparse keys into an otherworldly, peaceful passage. “Purrxistence” continues feelings and vibes of the last track well. There’s this distinct turning and clicking sequence that adds a lot. The incorporation of words at the end adds some otherworldly quality to it. Like coming back to reality. Closing number “Inexplicably Long Winter” is sparse yet sprawling. From its opening perfectly capturing the feel of cold wind against bare skin, it’s a fitting and stunning ending. The finale expertly encapsulates the themes of the record spectacularly. 

Infantes’s ambient debut is a synth journey that envelops the listener. Mario infuses elements of ambience, dramatic, horror movie-style interjections and tangible drum machines and virtual instruments to craft a trippy rabbit hole that’s impossible not to get wrapped up in. Ambient music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it has such a strong hardcore following making it a very unique genre. I feel this will please not just the most staunch ambient enjoyer, but also capture the attention of those who wouldn’t normally enjoy this style. For those interested, it’s worth seeking out.

Standout tracks: “Pulso”, “Inexplicably Long Winter”, & “Draumavatn”

Antidote to a Turbulent Mind gets 3 flaming Toilets ov Hell out of 5

Antidote To A Turbulent Mind by Mario Infantes is out now via Lost Future Records.

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