English metal band Intense has been plugging away at their craft for 20 years. Now signed to Germany's Pure Legend Records, the band delivers their third full length album, The Shape of Rage. While 20 years only puts them back to the early Nineties, one listen to this disc find that their roots go deeper into the earlier. The Shape of Rage is blistering platter of old school Metal mixing heavy, speed, and power metal in a melodic wrapper, pushed by a driving rhythm section and twin guitar attack.
Above, Intense: Come closer and vocalist Sean Hetherington will punch your lights out.
From the gate, Intense is, well, 'intense' offering a songs that clip along at fast and heavy pace. Anubis, The Elemental, and One Man's Word gallop along, leaving little time for catching your breath. Lightning guitar solos pepper each song. Once you get to For the Fallen, Intense, in terms of speed, lightens up quite a bit. It's a heavy, steady, piece nuanced by vocals over light guitar and drums, and a smattering of acoustic guitar. But, don't dismay it cranks up with some big riffage and more guitar solos for an epic feel.
Save Me from Myself, Lie, and the title cut return to racing speed, typical of the album. But they also express how easily Intense can deliver bombastic riffage in a truly melodic arrangement. While the speed side of the band is quite evident and exciting, they're even better when they tone things down or simply merge them with more steady metal as on Maidenesque sounding song, Haunted. (Note the bass segment just before four minutes also). Skull of Sidon II delivers a similar arrangement, sublime and steady at first, but then breaks out with speed midway. The result is a song with an epic feel.
For pure and classic heavy metal, with equal parts speed, power, and melodic metal, Intense's The Shape of Rage delivers the goods. Fans of 'true' metal should buy this straight away. Up the Irons!
For pure and classic heavy metal, with equal parts speed, power, and melodic metal, Intense's The Shape of Rage delivers the goods. Fans of 'true' metal should buy this straight away.