Thursday, November 10, 2011

Insain - Spiritual Rebirth

Derivative logo fonts aside, France's Insain plays some mean, compressed, and altogether predictable death metal. However even though it covers similar territory, that doesn't keep it from being a fun, brutal romp. As a sucker for brutal death metal - all kinds from slam to technical - I was addicted to this for a few days, often getting some of better pit riffs stuck in my head.

Insain's debut Spiritual Rebirth is an exercise in modern death metal brutality. You've got your Suffocation-inspired riffing with a few sparks of Origin's instrument finesse. As I mentioned before, this album is heavy on typical brutal death metal pit riffing. There's plenty of hammerblasts, D-beats, and surprisingly melodic leads which will have you wanting to start a pit right there. Throw in some breakdowns (brutal death breakdowns. Get your mind out of the gutter) and you have yourself a winner. There's also quite a few instances where the vocalist will spew out line after line of gut-disemboweling rhetoric in a speedy fashion similar to Francesco Paoli from Hour Of Penance or Julien Truchan of fellow French band Benighted. The title track is a prime example of this. There's a few gurgling and squealing bits which should appease fans of brutal death(core), slam, and grind as well.

I have two big issues with the album though, and the first is the more obvious. "Well you basically just described the majority of brutal death metal." Spiritual Rebirth is pretty much an entirely derivative venture, yes, but it has a few redeeming qualities. First is that the songs are memorable, and second is that they combine many of the more interesting elements of other artists' music in a way that is relatively seamless. My second big gripe with Spiritual Rebirth is that although the songs are so instantly memorable, the album wears thin quickly. The compressed mid-range-heavy production just exacerbates the issue, and I had a similar issue with Origin's latest. However this is a debut album, and I understand it takes some time to develop a unique sound. Often enough new artists in metal only get signed because they sound like someone else.

If you understand these two big issues going into Insain's debut, you're in for a good time. The pit riffs on "Prophet" are monstrous and addictive, the vocals on the title track, "Inquisitor," and "Angel Of Pain" are frenzied aggression, and the bends on "Dying Mind" are fun. The latter half of the album is samey and definitely drags a bit at times, but that doesn't stop Insain's momentum which remains at breakneck speed throughout all of Spiritual Rebirth.

6.75 out of 10

1. Black as Your Light
2. Me & I
3. Inquisitor
4. Spiritual Rebirth
5. Corpse Before Death
6. Prophet
7. Dying Mind
8. Worthless
9. Angel of Pain
10. Ethereal Enemy
11. Back Into the Wild

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