Anti-Justice's debut cassette EP possesses an incredible low-fidelity awkwardness that made it an instant classic among a small cadre of the South Florida death-metal literati. For the band's follow-up effort, AJ would recruit young Andrew Jaramillo on drums, and Richard Rodriguez would replace Robert Cleves on bass.
It's a South Florida myth that Rob had to quit the band to relocate up north after receiving threats from irate readers of his critically acclaimed Mulch Fanzine. Such are the throes of the "Ho of the Month" scribe! Anyways, Jaramillo's drumming blossomed from zero skill to full-on metal know-how in a matter of months, and with the help of Evan Rifas and a much better recording kit, Infidel Sect came to be between 1994 and 1995.
Instead of the in-your-face doom assault of the self-titled EP, Infidel Sect is an entirely more deliberate siege. Clocking in at around four minutes per song, each track is broken down into discernible parts with thought-out riffs, grooves, fills, and occasional micro-solos. Being a cleaner recording allowed for a better listen to the burgeoning technicalities that would blossom in the next releases, and here they did well to allow the individual instruments to thrive.
Opener "Flattened" starts on a groove and sets up a stylistic bridge between the self-titled EP and what follows on tape. There are cool stops here and what can be categorized as tribal drumming elements as well as some righteous gruff vocals. "Jesus Webbed" continues with some jazzy nuances and hardcore elements that I consider unintentionally crossover in execution.
"Leftover Organs" keeps the spirit up, and the guitar work is lightning fast, berating the listener before a pair of breakdowns in the middle give way into a nicely hyperactive solo that brings it home. "Retrograde" reminds me of the special opinion certain college professors shared of me, but here it certainly falls into the chaka-chaka metal category. The title track is probably the best-sounding track on the tape, and it blisters away with excellent levels and a rolling bass rumble underneath that begs this one be turned up LOUD!
"Prevaricate" closes the tape on a high note that it technically entails the serpent eating its tail; it's a perfect closer, that rare metal track that is just as brutal as an instrumental piece. Anti-Justice would record another tape that same year (1995), and we'll examine that one soon within these pages.
As for the availability of this cassette: You got it from Tim Den's hand at a house show, from Andrew or Richard, bought it from the consignment shelf at Yesterday & Today Records, or dubbed it from someone who fell into the aforementioned categories. I know that my copy cost me a couple of bucks because if I remember correctly, I was also purchasing one of Tim's famous $1.50 egg rolls at the time.
Years later, he would wonder why I tried to set his car on fire.