|Review: Insult - Abysmal Incantations|
Label: Daemon Worship Productions
Year released: 2009
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: January 14, 2010
Reviewed by: Nahsil
Rated 4.13/5 (82.5%) (8 Votes)
This is the second promo in a row I've gotten from Daemon Worship Productions, and I have to say that so far their roster seems pretty consistent, as well as diverse. Whereas Dimensional Psychosis play Technical Death Metal, Insult are all about the old school of Swedish Death. "Blitzkrieg 666" greets the listener with a sinister guitar tone and a couple-chord progression, followed immediately by a sweet arpeggiated riff that absolutely screams "no bullshit." It may not be the early '90s anymore, but Sweden hasn't forgotten its elder style of metal worship amid all its ill-begotten Gothenburg (great Melodic Death exceptions for the interested - Eucharist, Centinex, Depresy, Gates of Ishtar, among others). If stuff like early Dismember, God Macabre, or Morpheus gets your blood flowing, then you'll be delighted to know that bands like Insult are carrying that style into the new millennium. There's perhaps a little more Florida influence than in the Swedish purity of the mentioned bands, but overall the spirit is intact and potent as ever. Dark riffs that rarely venture into melodic territory make up the majority of these tracks. Simple and straightforward, but it works. Insult don't possess as much lead work or as many chords as high in register as Dismember, opting for a heavier path that foregoes the inclusion of that hope-producing lead guitar effect, but the solos make up for it, and the fact that the presence of leads is more measured makes their occurrence richer when they do show up.
Definitely don't come into this expecting innovation, but Insult have enough character to avoid sounding completely derivative. The vocals (on the first half, will explain later) are technically standard fare, straddling the middle of the fence as far as depth of tone goes, as similar to bands of old as is the guitar work. That said, Johan Svensson's growls are deep and resonant, but not at all guttural. I think they're swell!
This is a compilation of two demos, which I should have mentioned sooner, but anyway, you can expect a big difference in the mixing. Tracks 1-6, belonging to the newer Axiom demo, feature a much better production. Decree, the earlier demo, has a mixing that muffles the vocals (which are, by the way, provided by Insult's guitarist as opposed to Svensson; he's not bad in his own right, but adopting Svensson's talents was the right move). The drums are also a bit flat, though this is not an obstacle as irreconcilable as Svensson's absence and the production values of the vocals. Drumming on the first six tracks is better, though perhaps the bass is too "clicky" for some; it doesn't bother me in Insult's case.
As a final note, I like the choice of cover-art. The band's logo and compilation title are both tastefully integrated into what I assume is a Gustave Dore painting of some weeping (and strangely muscled - Greek Olympians perhaps? Hah!) men/damned souls.
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