Insania (Ger) - Face your agony 3/5

Reviewed: 7-28-06


1. Ashes of...
2. Common ground
3. Nocturnal blast
4. I.I.I.
5. Paradox
6. Faces
7. Juggernaut
8. Lord of the machines
9. Agony game
10. Mania construct

The last time I transversed the streets of madness with Insania was when their 1993 debut set me free. This juggernaut reminded me a great deal of early Gamma Ray, with their, literally Cheesy, vocalist heavily imitating Kai Hansen. Now over 10 years later, after several line-up changes, and half a dozen more releases, I'm treated to another mania construct from Insania, who apparently have hammered out quality music for almost 20 years. They even were fronted at one time by a female vocalist named Alicia, when they developed a more commercial approach, doing 80s pop covers. Once Marc joined the fold, Insania returned to their thrashier roots, this time incorporating the facets of death metal in their agony game.

This rather laconic CD is definitely a paradox since it has so many layers to it. Vocalist Marc searches for his common ground while fluctuating from harsh and gruff vocals on certain tracks, to clean somber singing on others. The CD opens with a brief intro then immediately crushes in the classic German teutonic tradition recalling the sonic hedgings of non-fledglings Grave Digger, X-Wild, Pretty Maids, and even newer sounding Sodom. The "Nocturnal blast" blatantly bears witness to the black metal Norwegian comparisons and even Shagrath's new Chrome Division. Then there is a cover of Nena's "Irgenwie, irgendwo, irgendwann" completely sung with germane gesticulation. This avidity for the 80s pops her 99 luft balloons with brutal ballast.

The best track has to be "Paradox", a beatific power ballad replete with sweet shredding and tribal drumming; even if the chorus replicates Iced Earth's melancholy mettle. Here Marc proves he is lord of the metal machines singing like Matt Barlow in a duet with a friendly female; all the while there are dance beats balancing out Gary's sensitive solos. The rapacious rhythms pound with furious full force; until the song slowly subsides with acoustic composure. Other than an awesome instrumental called "Faces", all lyrics are quite apropos and poignantly written well by these children of a lesser God who have served as prisoners for many seasons in Hell.




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