What happens when a bunch of young dudes with diverse musical influences and playing styles set their minds to play heavy metal? In this case, it's Long Island's Insanium and their debut long-player Solitary Confinement. The member's influences range from pop-punk to classic rock, from prog to death and black metal.
Wrap this all up and you have some serious modern progressive metal with classic influences. Perhaps a mash up Iron Maiden to Avenged Sevenfold, Dream Theater to Between the Buried and Me. The modern nuance comes from vocalist Aaron Harris' inclination to death and black metal as he throws in some dirty vocals in almost every song. The upside is he does it well; the downside is that they're there. But considering the youth of this band, it makes perfect sense. Their friends and peers expect this, so the band is swaying between accommodation and commercialization.
But the real strength of Insanium is the music. Despite the mix of vocals, this band can create strong metal compositions with some serious playing. The band shows craftsmanship and skill beyond their years. While they can go for some straight forward style like the thrash metal of Skin Deep, the better songs are those where the mix things up. Ozymandia, Face In The Crowd, Vessels, The Temptress, and Rageblind are all songs which invoke visions of progressive metal, not so much in technicality, but in how metal styles are bent and twisted into one song.
But then Rageblind is an example of where the modern vocals are over-the-top, going from little amounts of clean singing to as overindulgence into hardcore and death vocals. Despite the strength of the music, this makes a very good song nearly intolerable because you don't know when or how much more the dirty vocals are going to assault you.
Alternatively, songs like Rain Again and Amethyst succeed on the strength of clean vocals, while also having arrangements of sublime melodic accessiblity. Finally, another chief asset of Insanium is the guitar playing, and not just in the terrific riffs. Whether it's Jon Conway or Vito Racanelli, or both, these two dudes are pulling off some killer leads. The ones within All I Need and Bending and Breaking are quite compelling. And that's only mentioning two songs. While I'm never keen on the use of dirty/death vocals, with Solitary Confinement, Insanium delivers the modern heavy metal goods with their blending of musical influences and styles. They may even be a force to reckoned with on the national stage.
While I'm never keen on the use of dirty/death vocals, with Solitary Confinement, Insanium delivers the modern heavy metal goods with their blending of musical influences and styles.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]