The Silent Epidemic

Written by: TL on 20/06/2007 20:04:06

I was but a stumbling newbie with less than a handful of reviews in the bag when I first got acquainted with the Norwegian dudes in Insense. Now little more than a year later, the band has returned heavier and nastier on "The Silent Epidemic".

I'll just go ahead and repeat myself. The one defining word about the new record is simply "Heavier!". The old album "Soothing Torture" was pretty dark and heavy alright, but on the new record the band has just gone ahead and taken it one step further. Like a leviathan at the bottom of the deepest of oceans, the songs on The Silent Epidemic will smash you with their colossal thrashing might. The guitars divide among them the tasks of grinding you into the 'oceanfloor' with groovy and heavy riffage and surrounding you with a sinister atmosphere with eerie melodic lines. That is at least what the record sounds like half the time, as perfectly displayed in the opening tracks "Welcome Whore" and "Deeper Nails".

When the band takes the tempo up a notch, moving from what I'm drawn towards calling a kind of progressive post hardcore (maybe even extreme hardcore), to something more similar to 'conventional' death metal, their sound simply resembles being driven over by a tank. A big black one even. Just listen to the start of "The Erosion Of Oslo" or "The Worst Is Yet To Come" and you'll see (feel).

Contrasting all this heavyness, we have what have seemingly become a must in this kind of music. I'm talking about periods of melodic order and less angry vocal work, just like the stuff that characterized bands like Twelve Tribes and Misery Signals on their most recent releases, only distinguished by still carrying the more depressed mood this record has to it.

Despite the noteworthy increase in 'mass' compared to "Soothing Torture" however, what works against the band is the same thing as back then. While the mood of the record is definetely well-constructed, the songs still end up becoming a bit too homogenous, and further characterization would have served well to make you want to listen to this CD more often. In some places I dare say it even becomes a bit predictable and I'm missing a few surprises or technical miracles that would seriously make my jaw drop and my attention stick. Admitted, there is a little of it on the closing "Time Wounds All Heals" but by then it simply feels like too little too late.

Download: The Worst Is Yet To Come, Welcome Whore
For the fans of: Twelve Tribes, Misery Signals
Listen: MySpace

Release Date 07.05.2007
Black Balloon Records
Provided by Target ApS

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