Back in 2011, we like so many were caught up in and shouting the plaudits for Welcome To The Institution, the debut album from metallers Promethium. It was an encounter which more than suggested that the band was one of the most promising propositions within the UK metal scene. As time and a host of equally compelling encounters with the band have come and gone, that first offering had slipped away from regular attention. Now on the 10th Anniversary of its initial unveiling, the Lancaster outfit has unveiled Welcome To The Institution (Remastered), a remixed and re-mastered edition which more than reminded us just how enjoyable and impressive a debut the full-length was.
Containing 3 bonus songs, the 2020 re-recorded versions of Visions, Nothing, and Murder Inc as well as a re-mastered recording of Sons Revenge, the first track the band ever recorded in 2007, Welcome To The Institution (Remastered) is a fresh return to where the band made its first major mark for fans and newcomers alike.
Already experienced and accomplished with individual exploits in bands such as Skin Crawl, Bodies, Desolate and Natual Thing as well as in its growing years, Promethium immediately revealed a craft and prowess in Welcome To The Institution which brought a rich character and enterprise to every song. Their sound is a metal bred but variously flavoured proposition which even in their debut revelled in familiar essences woven into thick and crafty ingenuity and sure individuality. From thrash to heavy metal, classic metal and rock all brought freshness to the album’s sound and personality, indeed listening again there are even essences in rarer moments which could be described as punk like.
The band’s line-up for the album saw guitarists Daniel Lovett-Horn and Rossi alongside vocalist Gary Mogahon, bassist Wayne Ward and drummer Fraser while the re-recorded tracks now see the former pair joined by Steve Graham on vocals and Gentle Ben and Iron Aiden on bass and drums respectively.
The melodic intimation of opener Distant Illusion makes for a captivating invitation to the release. The instrumental is beauty and suspicion entwined, a radiance of sound bound in a hint of foreboding and an edge soon grasped and explored by the following Visions, which is led by immediately compelling vocal and lyrical picturing. Equally the grooves and riffs sprung by Lovett-Horn and Rossi are as manipulative as they are voracious, an instinctive catchiness soaking every aspect of their endeavour and the song’s full trespass upon the imagination.
The rousing start is only escalated by the likes of the esuriently invasive and antagonistic Meaning Of Trust and Nothing with its reflective angst. The first is almost warlike but a composed contagion that snarls with temptation while its successor, with a certain Metallica hue, is a plaintive defiance soaked proposal with venom in its uproar and anxiety in its melodic repose.
Throughout the album, the individual craft of band members and their united endeavour is a fertile incitement and one which seems to be even more potently exploited by the new version of the release, a clarity yet intensity drawn out in the re-mastering and re-recordings.
The predacious Tribute To The Fallen is a prime example, a ferocious infection of sound and sentiment which sparks thoughts and memories perfectly at this time of year and a respect for life’s warriors in battle globally and in intimacy. The track is a classic finding new force in its re-mastered form to grow as one of Promethium’s finest incitements though, as reminded by its return, Welcome To The Institution was a breeding ground for many fine songs woven in gripping invention, as the emotively ablaze 33.1 and the feral Cycle Of Vengeance prove.
Richly hooked by Trapped and the greedily devoured closing pair of The Curse and the exceptional Murder Inc, we were gripped by Welcome To The Institution all those years ago and have again been consumed by the same lusty pleasure first felt then.
The bonus tracks of course now more than add to the pleasure, the trio of tracks standing taller in maturity and drama without diminishing the rawer triumphs that begat them while Sons Revenge, a song we only discovered within the band’s acoustic album, Revisions, a couple of years back, provides a natural and unrefined yet thrilling close to the release.
Whether a fan already or newcomer to one of the UK’s finest, Welcome To The Institution (Remastered) is a must and a release which proves why Promethium for all their subsequent triumphs left a certain imprint on the passions with their debut which will never dissipate.
Welcome To The Institution (Remastered) is out now; available @ https://www.promethiumband.com/merch
Pete RingMaster 19/11/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review