11 Dec 2021 - Sebastian
Metalcore | Long Branch Records | Release date: 10 Nov 2021
Everybody has a different way to deal with mental and personal problems. Some cry, are angry, maybe lash out. Aaron Steineker and his band Rising Insane work through pain with their music and while the pain might still be there, their new record Afterglow for sure is a manifest of strength and their way to deal with the crap the world throws at them.
Afterglow is the third album by Rising Insane and it can be seen as a direct continuation of their second album Porcelain, as the topic is somewhat the same: loss. More specific the loss of Aaron’s sister and his resulting PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Not only Steineker is contemplating the loss of a loved one, but guitarist Sven Polizuk is too. The album is more or less a group therapy for anyone listening, who might also be having a bad phase in their live.
One thing before we dive into the album: if you were not a fan of metalcore before the album, you won’t be afterwards, but if you feel even just a little bit inclined to this kind of music, Afterglow will for sure be worth a listen. It is very reminiscent of other German metalcore acts like Annisokay or Any Given Day. A song like ”Serenade” is simply perfect for live shows, as it’s full of energy, has a big hook and just invites the listener to join the nearest mosh pit.
From song one on the direction of this album becomes very evident. It is very no-nonsense-metalcore, with harshly screamed verses and beautifully sung choruses. ”Flightless Bird” is a prime example of their great vocals. The song is about anhedonia, which is basically the opposite of hedonistic behaviour. Persons suffering from it can’t allow themselves to feel anything any more, not even good feelings.
To work through these dark times and thoughts together, the band decided to record the album pretty much on their own and also did a lot of the production “in-house”. The sound is very dense and heavy, like one would expect from a modern metalcore record. The leitmotif of the album is tangible in every fibre of the album, especially in its cover. A bright light shines above the dark surface, but there are dark figures (thoughts) lingering in the shadows, which even the light can’t cast away.
Mental health is one of the most common sicknesses around the globe and throughout all ages. ”It’s like there’s something inside of me / Something I can’t see, but I feel / That there’s something so dark in me / Pulling me to my knees / So that I can’t sleep, I can’t feel”. The intro to ”Something inside of me” shows us the helplessness often felt by those affected by mental health problems. Our mental health is often overlooked or dismissed as a minor problem and this song screams back in those people’s faces calling the people suffering cowards or crybabies: No, it is a real problem and it’s affecting million of people. Everyday. In every aspect of their lives.
While their problems will not all be resolved with the release of this album, hopefully the love and appreciation Rising Insane will get from their fans, especially through their tour next year, will help them cope with some of their pain. Afterglow will certainly cement their spot among the more established German metal acts.