Insense

Soothing Torture

Written by: TL on 31/05/2006 02:13:38

Norwegian Insense are back with their sophomore effort “Soothing Torture”. On their eponymous debut, they were about a complex mix of death metal and metalcore with a progressive twist. On the new record they’ve toned down the complexity and become more energetic. As a result, Soothing Torture is yet another relentless metalcore-attack of screamed vocals, heavily distorted guitars and aggressive breakdowns.

Insense fills their songs with a very dark and disturbed mood, underlined by some of the tracks’ use of more quiet melancholic parts (for instance the pianos on opener “Helplessness”) normally followed by an evil explosive breakdown. Vocalist Tommy Hjelm mostly utilizes the usual aggressive scream-style, but on occasion switches to whispering and semi-clean singing. Guitars are mostly played with full power and distortion, and there are plenty of spectacular riffs and solos to go around. Drums are (thankfully) not all about pedal-pummelling the entire time though, and I think this actually helps to add variety to the record, by helping momentum-switches in the songs.

What holds this record down is actually also what is its’ strength. It is a very homogenous record which delivers a constant flow of anything a metal fan could want, but while Insense’s approach works out alright on some songs, it also seems to not go anywhere on others. “The Forgiving Embrace” being my favourite on the record, has very nice riffs and a very good flow, as opposed to the thirty second “A Prayer For The Feeble”, which ends almost before it begins, and leaves the listener pondering on why it even made it on the release. The gap between highs and lows isn’t that wide though, and I think more effort could have gone into giving each song a more distinct personality.

This is a record that gives you exactly what you could be hoping for, but not too much more. Good enough to be above average, but not enough to be spectacular

Download: The Forgiving Embrace, Gasping For Air, Soothing Torture
For the fans of: Slipknot, Meshuggah
Listen: MySpace

Release date 10.04.2006
Black Balloon
Provided by Target ApS

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