Insentient – Remnants EP


The meaning of the name of Los Angeles based blackened death metallers Insentient means ‘devoid of sensation or consciousness; inanimate,’ something you certainly cannot apply to their debut EP Remnants. The six song release is a dramatic and exhausting piece of emotive enterprise and evocative intrusiveness, a heavy shadowed expanse of exploitive and scintillating provocation exploring and inspiring the psyche of its recipients with relish and skilled venom. The release and band has earned comparisons in many ways to the likes of Death, Hypocrisy, and Dissection, something which is hard to argue over but with essences of neo-classical and thrash to their imaginative ideas and craft the band stands apart from the crowd with a unique and expressive presence.

The band was formed in 2009 by vocalist/guitarist Leslie Medina with the line-up of Medina, guitarist Kimberly Orellana, bassist William Palacios-Toledo, and drummer James Coppolino in place from the early part of last year. With a stable line-up in place the band has begun to make a stronger impressive mark which Remnants will only send deeper into the heart of melodic extreme metal.

Wrapped in the excellent artwork of UK artist Thomas Bates, who has graced releases from the likes of Bleed From Within, The REMNANTSSoulless, Siege of Amida Records, Federation, and Promethee, Remnants instantly seduces the ear with the opening of Winters End, crystalline kisses falling around a melodic temptation from the guitars courted by a bass lure. As the temperature rises and melodic blazes spark off mutual fires of intensity, the song evolves into a ravenous torrent of rapacious riffs, merciless rhythms, and voracious vocals from Medina, her guttural squalls and esurient rabid passion startling and impressively malevolent. The track evolves across a charge of sonic invention and melodic imagination which as potently captivates as the intensity devours making an immense and riveting start to the EP.

     Decrepit Minds taunts the senses next with its initial welcome sonic irritant erupting into a rampant snarl of malicious riffing and mutually violent rhythms, a black metal grace wrapped over a death metal maliciousness is once more ridden by the insidious vocals. The emerging thrash rabidity to the riffs infuses another rush of pleasure and satisfaction whilst once more exposing the diverse intent and creativity of the band.

Through both Seethe and its successor As I Wither, the experience raises its game yet again, the first a slowly prowling menace sizing up its victim with bass and guitar as enthralling as they are menacing before taking an unrelenting chew out of the senses with an avalanche of bass drum animosity and controlled vocal savagery, whilst the second is quite simply a furnace of devious imagination and deviant sonic temptation all honed into a gorging depredation.

If the listener was not already convinced the release seals the recruitment of the passions with the closing pair of Death Toll Rising and finally the title track. The penultimate track is a pit borne snarl with hunger and spite to match, again the vocals of Medina a savage contagion alongside the inventive voice and charm of the guitars that bewitches within the at times bestial rage and furiousness of drums and riffs, not forgetting the wonderfully hostile and seemingly rancor soaked basslines. The title track provides a final thrash sculpted maelstrom of passion and intensive debilitation, blisteringly completing a thoroughly engrossing and impressive debut.

Insentient and the Remnants EP make you work at times to discover its wealth of creative ingenuity, its corrosive surface overwhelming what lies beneath but the effort to explore is rewarded with even greater imagination and pleasure. This is a band we will be hearing a lot more of and with even greater successes one suspects.


RingMaster 19/06/2013

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Betraeus – Towards the Sun

Since their formation in 2009 Manchester quartet Betraeus has beaten a strong and impressive path with their progressive death metal sounds and devastating live performances, pulling in ever increasing acclaim and eager support. The release of their debut EP Towards The Sun via Siege Of Amida Records should cement their already immense foundation and thrust the band far into the world with its unbridled destructive power and distinctive varied ingredients.

The two years since the young band started to unleash their creativity has seen Betraeus from laying waste to their local area going on to slay audiences on the New Blood Stage at the 2010 Bloodstock Open Air festival and this year inspire and impress with one of the events stunning performances on The Pepsi Max stage at Download Festival. Towards The Sun caps off a great year with its release across all digital platforms and is sure to get the pulse racing for not only fans of the likes of Opeth, Death, Unearth, and Insomnium but all metal fuelled enthusiasts.

The foursome of vocalist and guitarist Christian Sykes, lead guitarist Eddie Johnson, bassist Benjamin Edwards, and Paddy Monaghan on drums, strike hard and relentlessly with crippling riffs and menacing intensity. Their use and fusing of elaborate and intricate progressive guitars, tempered melodies, and emotive atmospheric sounds takes their music into a sphere of its own, giving the band a uniqueness that few come near to sound wise.

The title track opens up the EP, an epic in length and stature, the near ten minute length unveiling the band’s might and creative skills. A rampant array of punishing riffs, senses splitting rhythms, and haunting harmonies to immerse deep within, the track displays scant regard for mercy as it ruptures the ear with its diverse and intense sounds. Even the melodic passion led break where Sykes switches from his growls to an emotive clean attack twists the senses with its striking effect. The song is so varied that to be over critical one could accuse it of losing a little focus in its flow during its length especially when put against the edited version of Towards the Sun which closes the release which feels tighter, but that is being picky.  

Frustrate Recluse’ comes next with a slightly less varied approach and with a firmly favoured death metal assault. Ferocious and intent on damage Betraeus leave nothing standing in their wake with Sykes snarling out the lyrics over the bestial and angry sounds. Though maybe not the most creative of the tunes on show its urgent aggression and skilful powerful play sees it shine most of all.

The variety the band brings is openly evident on ‘Blossom Into The Void’, a partly acoustic track with engaging and unpredictable play against smooth and expressive clean vocals. With an Opeth flavouring the song shows the band is more than capable of making graceful sounds just as they are in breaking down walls, each direction and spice they use equally effective in commanding their audience.

Two lives tracks ‘Obsolete’ and ‘Locust’ complete the release. Taken from their 2010 performance at the Bloodstock Open Air festival it is no surprise listening to the songs how much they impressed at the event and Download this year, the evidence that if there is one metal show to attend its one with Betraeus on the bill.

Towards the Sun is one of the strongest debuts from any band this year, its diversity and extreme musical skill an essential investigation. The other great thing about the release is if Betraeus are this good now the future promises something very special.

RingMaster 11/11/2011 Registered & Protected


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