Insense - The Soothing Torture B-Sides

03 Apr 2022 - Daniel R.

Progressive Tech-Death Metal | Mas-Kina Records | Release date: 08 Apr 2022

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I’m going to let you in on three secrets before I start this review, well the actual single I’m reviewing. One, we aren’t just given music to review at random, it’s usually given to us because it’s thought that we’ll like it, Insense The Soothing Torture B-Sides was given to me as it said for fans of Meshuggah and Strapping Young Lad.

Two, I don’t particularly care for Meshuggah, sure they’re talented, but I just find them a bit too clinical. I am aware this will probably incur much ire from my colleagues and fans of the band alike, but hey, I love Strapping Young Lad at least, right?

Three, I hadn’t listened to Insense before listening to the three tracks on this single and I really wish I had, it really feels like I have wasted time somehow, not listening to them before.

Not releasing any material since 2014, with The Soothing Torture itself having been released eight years before that, this band sounds modern, with an updated groove and chugging metallic noise. Each of the three tracks certainly wears the influences on its sleeves, but this isn’t to say they’re ripping them off and are at risk of being sued, they put their own, more human spin on things.

Opening track ”Spawn of the Wicked” forces itself into your ears quickly with a crisp, palm muted guitar and pummelling drums that don’t let up for most of its three minutes run time, there’s a brief, almost bouncy bass part, which shows a different, more hardcore influence.

Moving on with ”Addicted to the Void”, which opens with a superb bass line before the vocals let rip and it beats you up aurally. It sounds almost tribal throughout, has a wah wah soaked guitar, not solo though and some gangshouts backing vocals, further showing aspects to their sound not shown before.

The last song, ”Modern Day Siren”, is the longest song on the release, at just over four minutes, it’s hardly prog and nor would I want it to be. It’s brutal, with a breakdown most bands would sacrifice their first born to have written, following it up with what is easily the most melodic part of any of the three songs until the song ends, almost unexpectedly.

Needless to say, this single has well and truly converted me to the band, I’m going to go and check out their back catalogue during the daylight hours, sleepy, night time music this is not. Lastly, I hope this release is a sign that the band is going to spring back into life because I, for one, cannot wait to hear more music from them if this is the quality of a B-side trio of songs.