First the good news; we can present to you one of the most brutal and exciting death metal releases you are likely to hear this year. Sadly the bad news is it is from a band which recently decided to call it a day. French metallers Insain had already announced themselves as one of the more promising and impressive emerging bands with their debut album Spiritual Rebirth which from a self-released unveiling was given a world wide release through Kaotoxin Records in 2012. It is fair to say though that their new EP Enlightening the Unknown thrusts the band into a greater intensive spotlight, one which they will not be seizing the opportunity of which is the only negative thing about the voracious release.
Also released via Kaotoxin, Enlightening the Unknown sees Insain reaching and delving into deeper pits of black pestilence and unbridled brutality, its six tracks and intro throwing off what little restraints crept into the previous release to uncage thick torrents of pure death metal maliciousness and inventive savagery. Every aspect of the release finds the band at a new dangerous intensity and level, from their skill and hunger to the lethal impact and vicious craft of the songs. It is a stunning beast which bellows deep from its guts, announcing not only a final swansong but the loss of a band capable of making an enduring inspiring mark on death metal.
The ruinous affair is begun by Abyssum Invocatis, a brief atmospheric introduction featuring guest malevolence from Eye Of Solitude vocalist Daniel Neagoe. It is a portentous if slightly underwhelming scene setter which still ignites intrigue for what is ahead, that something going straight for the jugular in the thunderous form of Absorbing The Masse. From its first second, riffs are scorching skin and sonic insidiousness squirreling through the psyche like a predatory cyclone, both David Schonbackler and Nicolas Becuwe merciless in their rampaging intent. Equally drummer Jonathan “Sangli” Juré unleashes a rhythmic rabidity which injures and compels the senses. The EP also features the musician’s final staggering performance of rapacious craft and blistering energy, Juré having fought for more than a year in the hospital to recover from a violent car crash which subsequently ended his musical career. The track consumes and suffocates in a thick tsunami like assault but as equally effective and dramatic is the contagious toxicity which brings even stronger temptation before the passions.
Vocalist Louis Lafitte provides an almost scourge like persuasion with his irresistible guttural scowls and roars, a rage which continues to savage ears in the following The Faceless One; the diversity of the vocals as gripping and vicious as the sounds squalling around them. The bass of Benoit “Bono” Jean brings a throaty spite to the ferocity too, building on the snarl bred in the first song to coax guitars and drums to breed an almost pack like mentality to their ravenous onslaught. The track proceeds to prowl, stalk, and pounce as it plunders emotions and corrodes synapses, raising another rapture of pain and satisfaction with only the fade-out end a small niggle.
Both Beyond Stellar Remnants and The Scourge take up sonic arms to continue the increasingly impressive and enthralling album, the first a ridiculously addictive and hellacious violation. Juré as usual is sensational, his arms and feet flinging beats and rhythms like lassos around the senses whilst the guitars scythe through the air and ears with a punishing intensity and ingeniously vindictive enterprise. The track swaggers and sways within its primal pillaging, igniting body and soul with a virulent infectiousness to its barbaric provocation. The track provides a mountain top in a heady range of peaks whilst its successor is a just as brutal and invigorating pestilential bombardment, grooves and vocals the perfect protagonists scavenging the beleaguered senses within a rhythmic threat just as intensively hungry and clad in animosity.
The title track, with Neagoe adding more of his distinct venom, ensures there is no let-up in the epidemic of violence within the new level of searing causticity, its cruel vehemence and fearsome energy a tornado of noxious endeavour. As with all the tracks, it needs numerous ventures in front of its sonic sand blast to reap all the excellent skills and rewards on display but well worth every scar and wound incurred. The release is concluded in similar style by Apex, the song as groove laden and nastily uncompromising as its predecessor and the EP as a whole.
Enlightening the Unknown is quite irresistible, a dangerously addictive venture which brings a sigh at the loss of a band once probably destined to be a giant of metal. There is obviously great anticipation of what the members of the band turn to next, expectations of notable things easy to build but it will not be Insain and from this release alone it is a major loss. You should always end on a high they say and Enlightening The Unknown is all that and much more. Available digitally and as a limited edition 1,000 strong MCD, this is one violent act not to be missed.
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