Jul 22, 2012
Insidiae - "Where Demons Dare" ...
The less than impressive album art is matched with a less than impressive album intro; 'March Into Hell' which the less said about the better but thankfully it is less than a minute long but after that, the album has got some very good passages scattered throughout the 43 minutes. While there are no songs that really stand out as being memorable, there is nothing truly awful either. The band is constantly throwing out stylistic curve-balls, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. They have huge melodies and the switches in genres and tempos are always intriguing, although you kind of wish they would just stick to one direction at times. The riffs are always melodic but monolithic and doomy and the album also has the atmosphere to back the doom and gloom but sadly, the actual production is pretty weak.
Tracks like 'Skinnerbox', 'Major Arcana', and 'I Won't Be Buried With You' are moments within the album where their mish-mash of styles works surprisingly well and at its most powerful, the band certainly have a rather over-the-top bombastic approach and do sound unique. Vocalist Harm-Jan Broekema has a frustrating voice however; he sometimes sounds great with a commanding presence but at other times his voice sounds thin especially when he drops the growls for clean vocal approach. This problem is highlighted the most in the ballad 'Negation Delirium' which is a song that needs a huge dramatic vocal performance but it gets the total opposite and suffers greatly because of it.
The band is clearly very good musicians and these songs are fairly adventurous blending in semi-progressive, semi-complex elements and some of the fast passages give the listener the occasional adrenalin rush so there are some well-thought-out sections on 'Where Demons Dare.' There is a lot to admire about the album but it also lacks hooks to make it memorable and the vocals are so up and down in quality, strength and power that it becomes a little frustrating to listen to. The songs also cry out for a rich, warm production job and that isn't present on the album either. Insidiae really have some major potential for making some grandiose music in the future but too much of this just misses the mark. Hopefully this album will turn out to be a stepping stone for something truly remarkable in the years to come and hopefully they will get the production the deserve on later albums too. This is far from horrible and it is interesting release at least but there is just nothing memorable about it in the long run.....5.5/10.
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