With 1994’s “Death After Death”, Insanity became one of many classic underground death metal acts. Though they’ve been around most of the time in some form or another since that release, they would not release another full-length until 2015’s “Visions of Apocalypse”. As much as I hate to admit it, I still haven’t tracked down a copy of their debut, so this release also marks my introduction to the band. My verdict is somewhat mixed; on the one hand, the band has captured the aesthetics of 1990s death metal perfectly, down to even the production. On the other, they lack any sort of unique identifying quality. This makes it difficult to discern amongst them, or the legions of other death metal bands out there. After several listens, “Visions of Apocalypse” has gone in one ear and out the other each time.
Insanity’s strengths are largely the fact that they’ve done this for a long time. Every riff is unabashed death metal, without a hint of compromise. Blasting is used, but not overdone. The rhythm section as a whole provides an extremely bludgeoning effort. Double bass is relatively consistent throughout the record, as you might expect. The solos are twisted, and the vocals are perverse. Again though, this is all par for the course for death metal. At times this release shows a lot of influence from early Deicide because of the strange leads (“Sociopath” being the best example). The lead playing is welcomed because the rhythm guitars are a little bit too muffled. It’s difficult to make out exactly what they’re playing, and while the cavernous production is appreciated, it is taken a little bit too far. The band did succeed at making “Visions of Apocalypse” sound like it was recorded in the 1990s, but they made it sound like an album that was restricted by its recording budget. This is unlikely to be the case with modern recording techniques, but the point is that this is an example of a record where trying to sound authentic ultimately hurts the release.
Aside from the production, “Visions of Apocalypse” has no technical faults. Even the most intricate parts are played with astounding precision. The vocals are standard in their approach, but aggressive enough to get the job done. Once again though, there is nothing to separate them from any other death metal singer. Ultimately however, the biggest problem with “Visions of Apocalypse” is just that there’s nothing to remember it by. You’re better off throwing on a mid-tier Deicide record, but if you really crave more death metal, this album is likely to satisfy you.
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3.2/5 or 64%.