Monday, November 23, 2015

Insanity "Visions of Apocalypse" 2015 Unspeakable Axe Records

It's not often a band can lay claim to influencing bands like Napalm Death and inventing the blast beat. The death metal pioneers Insanity can do just that. Formed in the mid-1980s, these masters of death metal released their seminal record Death After Death in 1994 (although much of it was written quite a bit earlier), an album that is held in the utmost high regard by this writer. I put them in the same camp with Repulsion, Death, Master, Possessed, Hellwitch, Hellhammer, and the rest of the old guard of death metal. We finally have a new record from this band, and I have been waiting to hear this thing for so long. I kept hearing the rumblings in the underground, and now, lo and behold, it's reality. I could not be more pleased, either. The record sticks to what Insanity has always done well, which is fast-paced death metal of the vintage sort, of the style largely forgotten unless you look to the underground. There are no weak aspects to this album, just in-your-face aggression and pounding death metal. Newer bands could learn something about writing memorable songs from it. Countless times in the last few years I've played an album only to be left unable to recall what I just listened to other than "decent death metal." It's because many bands' songs lack personality and presence. They're forgettable. Insanity's songs are never forgettable. Sure there's a few that are stronger than the rest, but it's all a notch above what many other bands are producing. It was the same with their previous effort in 1994. By that time the scene was descending into a period where not much originality was heard, and most bands tried to copy the Floridian or Swedish sounds. The bands who were in fact creating original sounding death metal were coming out of the midwestern US, bands like Ton, Fleshgrind, and Gorgasm, who brought a whole new level of brutality to the genre. They understood the importance of the song itself, much like Insanity, and have gone on to long careers because of it. I cannot say enough about this album and how good it is to hear a new Insanity record. My late friend Jim Konya was a huge fan of Insanity, and he was who originally turned me on to them about 10 years ago. He was excited about this album coming out when I last spoke to him. Now I proudly sport a logo patch on my jacket, and I will be a fan of this band forever. This album is mandatory for real death metal fans. It cannot be missed.