As highly appreciated and wonderful as it is to have bands and releases sent to The RingMaster Review from bands, labels, PR companies and the likes there is something satisfyingly different and special when by chance you come across a band often by pure luck, which ignites the heart into an enflamed satisfaction and pleasure. Such is the case with hardcore/metal band Insurgence. By pure luck a random and fortunately seen post by someone led us to the new album Under Open Skies from the Maltese band and what an impressive beast of a release it is.
Info about the band is scarce to absent online but to be honest it is all about the music and that is quality in its fullest glory. The Marsa based band consists of vocalist Cliff Falzon, guitarists Daniel Buhagiar and Gustaf Karl Cauchi, drummer Jolen Galea, and bassist /backing vocalist James Spiteri. Together they have brewed up an album in Under Open Skies which is unpredictable, persistently enterprising and continually magnetic. Superbly crafted and written the release is an ever evolving twisting mix of extreme and melodic metal unleashed through nine striking aggressive tracks. Individually the songs are as imaginatively diverse and perpetually writhing as the album, making for a release which offers something new each and every listen, its depth and expanse extensive and inventive beneath the sprawling intense consumption.
Under Open Skies opens with the brief Foreword an emerging fusion of sound which only suggests at the ingenuity ahead, its tangled web of noise and atmospheres an attention grabbing lead into the tumultuous Adam’s Eden. This track is monstrous in size and intensity. Riffs beat up on the ear building into a wall of blackened threats and barracking energy whilst the rhythms smash the senses with merciless jabs and lethal uppercuts. As the song progresses and the vocals of Falzon spew every shade of bile and venom out with the lyrics the guitars reach scorched heights to splice the senses with crystalline veined razor sharp melodic intrusions. With snatches of djent tendencies and splatters of death metal villainy, the song is immense and still a mere hint of what is to come.
The following Exchanges begins on distressed melodic play surging through eager riffs and gut borne vocals. Once in its stride electronic sonic spots light up the intensity and further reveal the thoughtful creative songwriting behind the songs. Openly infectious whilst being as menacing and belligerent as you could wish the song scrapes and caresses the ear with stirring craft and invention.
The outstanding Forked Tongue lifts things to an even greater plateau next with the featured aid of Robin Adams (Red Seas Fire). The track is staggering though that word can be used freely throughout the album. With a great steely groove which winds tighter and tighter around the ear and a perfect mix of spiteful and clean vocal harmonies the song is truly outstanding. From obliterating and numbing the senses to leaving them soaring headlong into the sun, Forked Tongue is a masterful ever shifting and revealing contagion of imagination and pure creative skill.
Great heights are scaled and left as the norm with further stunning slices of ingenuity in the likes of Bystanders with its startling electronic manipulations and destructive addictive grind, The Rise And Fall Of Nothing with its vicious piercing grooved riffs and concussive rhythms, and the caustic Where The Fault Lies, each track on the album leaving one utterly breathless whilst offering no respite except the mere seconds in between them.
With the atmospheric and emotive harsh beauty of instrumental Minor Transmission exploring and fingering every thought and feeling whilst the mountainous closer Obsidian Black rips apart an already devastated husk of a listener with barbaric drumming and crushing venomous riffs alongside lethal melodic enterprise, Under Open Skies is easily one of the finest extreme metal albums to appear in recent months, of any type of metal to be honest. Produced by Spiteri, with the vocals produced by Robin Adams, Insurgence has released one of the essential albums of the year and as it is a free download from their official website there is no excuse for not being infested by their amazing sounds.