Taking a few moments out to catch up on a few firm pleasures the end of last year offered up, we recommend checking out Pithos, the new album from Swedish outfit INSONIKA. It is a six track incitement of powerful and adventurous stoner rock cast in the thick individuality of the Jonkoping hailing quartet and a release which seems to reveal a little more about its character and depths with every listen.
From starting out as “a fun jam-project”, INSONIKA has grown into a potent force upon the Swedish live circuit and indeed imaginations with a sound which has drawn references to the likes of Mastodon, Sleep, Neurosis and Truckfighters. As Pithos quickly proves, there is much more to its invention than that stoner rock tag suggests, its seventies psych nurtured keys and hardcore/punk like ferocity just two further aspects in its progressively rich and evolving proposal.
A concept album based on the story of Pandora and her box of mysteries and misery, the release opens with the track Pandora, emerging on a melodic caress of keys within an atmospheric electronic shimmer. Beauty and portentous calm wrap its rise, one soon to be joined by the foreshadowing lure of rhythms and melodic flaming. With every second the heat escalates with the mellow tone of vocals radiance in the growing tempest. It is a striking start to the release, the track casting drama and temptation with every passing second, intrigue and fallibility equally resonated within its creative theatre.
The album’s title track follows, strolling in with its own tempestuous climate and melodious vocal tempting. Danger and madness is soon a voracious roar within the track, aligning with that nostalgically captivating prowess of keys. With riffs and rhythms a feral proposal and vocals growing in their varied incitement, ears were firmly gripped before the outstanding Monsters In My Head got under the skin with its varied decade embracing rock ‘n’ roll. Again there is an esurient energy to the rhythmic and sonic appetite of the song, its agitated shuffle and robust trespass galvanic as too the involvement drawing vocals.
The Plague is next up, taking its time to gather in riffs and rhythms before freeing them in a mesmeric saunter of clamorous sound around contemplative vocals. All the while though, the inherent swing of the track worked its way under the skin while Warmongers proved a senses stalking proposal which alternates tumults of sound and trespass with unpredictable twists and corrosive roars, united a moment simply besieging eager attention.
The album closes with Dunes of War, a track beguiling ears with its melodic lures straightaway. Swiftly though, dark clouds approach to brew a noisy tempestuousness with in turn and just as quickly voice and keys breaking through to seduce air and imagination. Volatility continues to underlie the song throughout, moments of uproar providing compelling turns in the song’s melodic musing and radiant beauty.
It is a stunning end to a richly enjoyable release, an encounter as we said offering new touches and layers to discover and explore by the play. Pithos is a box of captivation with a much more welcomed outcome than that of Pandora.
Pithos is out now digitally @ https://insonikaband.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 12/01/2023
Copyright RingMaster Review