Insanity Reigns Supreme

Death/Doom music is very hard to get right. Only a few pioneers, such as MY […]
By Danny Sanderson
May 8, 2015
Insanity Reigns Supreme - Unorthodox album cover

Death/Doom music is very hard to get right. Only a few pioneers, such as MY DYING BRIDE for example, can truly capture the essence of what this music should be like. INSANITY REIGNS SUPREME, although not the most celebrated and well known band with this musical genre, have this sound perfected, and have managed to put out some powerful, dark and dread-inflected songs over their almost three decade long lifespan. And what's more, it still sounds fresh and new. Whereas some bands don't move forward with technological and stylistic advances,

The opening song, "The Conjuring", is a very fitting way to summon this album into life. It may only be short, spanning only sixteen seconds, but it definitely sets a dark, eerie tone for the music that is about to come. "Ov Fire", the first full song on this album, is a powerful, ferocious Blackened Death Metal song with some of the slower, riff based guitar lines thrown in for good measure. The female vocals work very well with the thick, rasping vocals of Criz James and help to add another dimension to the sound. This has all the key tenets of Death/Doom, but there are plenty of other elements there to help make it more than "just another" song in this style. It sounds tight and technically proficient, and I can definitely see this becoming a fan favourite in the near future. "Throne of One" heads down a very heavy, Doom route, with some more female vocals and Blackened Guitar lines in amongst the crushing chugs of the rhythm guitar. Like the previous offerings, it has a very sharp, modern, polished sound to it, but not to the point where it sounds clinical. The slow dirge of the following track, "Torment", only serves to layer on the Doom in spade loads, with the drums in particular acting as the driving force of the song. This also sees the band experiment with cleaner guitar tones, which has a great effect when blended in with the songs heavier elements. "Moonlight Sacrifice", a very short, haunting piano piece that sounds very familiar in some hard to put your finger on kind of way, complete with ghoulish whispers and wails, works as a great way to help break the album up, and set the mood for "By the Blood of the Beast". This beast is a very straightforward Blackened Doom track that nonetheless sounds amazing. It feels like it could be a bit longer, as it seems to be over before it's even fully reached it's full potential. "Cursed Be the Faithful" makes up for this, with plenty of gnarly riffs, raw vocals and punishing drums. This is definitely one of the more memorable songs on this album, mainly for the cold, whining lead guitar lines that work so well on this track. "The Calling", the last of the short "interlude" tracks, sounds absolutely amazing, and really makes great use of the female vocals to create a angelic piece of music. It's easily the best of the shorter tracks on this album. The song that immediately follows it, "Opposer", is a very heavy, groove-laden tune that has some really Doom based leads that really make the track as good as it is. It works very well at switching between and utilising different guitar tones to make the riffs sound as good as they can be, and it ends up being one of this records standout tracks. "Satanas Rex Inferi" is another song that is made genuinely brilliant by the various guitar tones; from the opening line, which is much cleaner to make the intro as creepy as possible, through to the concrete crunch of the main riffs, this song is one that is built on the strength of its guitar parts. The albums closing track, "Serpent Ov Fire" is, as the name might suggest, a different version of the song "Ov Fire" that features earlier on this album. Bizarrely enough, it sounds almost identical to its predecessor. Although this is a good song, there's absolutely no need for this song to appear twice on the same record. If the album had ended on "Satanas Rex Inferi", then it would have still closed on an amazing track. It's one minor detail that makes the end of this record just a tiny bit less epic than it could have been if it had closed on the previous song.

Despite repeating itself at the very end, this is an incredible album. This is more than just a standard album. For a band as seasoned as these guys, it sounds fresh and innovative. It throws in a lot of different sounds and styles that really help to make the track so much more enjoyable than if it had just been bog standard, meat and veg Death/Doom. If this is a genre of music that you love, then this is an album that should be on your list of albums to listen to. And for those who've already experienced it, it will most likely be one of your favourite releases of the year so far.<

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Unorthodox" Track-listing:

1. The Conjuring
2. Ov Fire
3. Throne of One
4. Torment
5. Moonlight Sacrifice
6. By the Blood of the Beast
7. Cursed Be the Faithful
8. The Calling
9. Opposer
10. Satanas Rex Infernis
11. Serpent ov Fire

Insanity Reigns Supreme Lineup:

Edward Jacobs - Drums
Roel - Guitars
Ron Cotar - Guitars
Criz James - Vocals
J. - Bass

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