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 Soulless, 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.
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