Insense // Burn in Beautiful Fire
Rating: 1.5/5.0 —Quoth the Raven, ‘No more core!!’
Label: Indie Recordings
Websites: myspace.com/insense
Release Dates: EU: 2011.04.08 US: 04.08.2011 [Digitally]

Reviewing albums like this is how I pay my debt for getting the Amon Amarth review. My inbox will become a wasteland of the very worst metalcore, deathcore, screamocore and whatever soulless rubbish Angry Metal Guy can hurl at me in an Oden-like rage (thank God I didn’t ask for the upcoming Amorphis review). As part of my community service, I’m here to enlighten you about Norway’s Insense and their fourth album Burn in Beautiful Fire. If you never heard of them, these guys play third-rate metalcore with all the emo/screamo pap that goes along with that craptastic style. Their bio says Anders Friden of In Flames thinks they’re the next big thing to hit the scene. Well, if this is what Anders thinks is good music, that explains why In Flames has sucked so thoroughly since Colony. All apologies and respect to Mr. Friden but even by metalcore standards this is super shitty and irritating. It’s boring,  annoyingly unoriginal and painfully below average in every aspect. I even hate the freaking album cover.

Let’s start with the negatives shall we? Vocalist/guitarist Tommy Hjelm is not a good vocalist. His screaming is annoying and grating and not in a cool “metal” way. His clean singing is quite poor as well. He clearly isn’t the only reason this album is bad but he sure isn’t helping either. Next, the band is apparently laboring under the misapprehension that riffs that go chugg-chugg-chugg-chugga-chugga are what the public wants in large quantities. To that end, they made enough for everybody to have seconds and bring some home for later. Songs like “Death for Me, Death for You” and “Surviving Self Resentment” are utterly nondescript and forgettable metalcore numbers. When they get heavier and thrashier as with the title track and “Perversion,” things don’t improve much either. The bulk of the material here is completely devoid of anything that would make me want to hear it again. Insense by Jørn Veberg It’s just tough guy chest thumping with the obligatory poppy clean choruses (what a shocker right?). The sheer weight of the chug-chug abuse alone is enough to sink this album several times over.

Now for the positives (this will be quick). In a few songs Insense throws out some interesting ideas and guitar work. It’s not enough to save the songs but it suggests some potential they can hopefully harness in the future. “Overrated” has interesting moments at 1:30 and decent solo work and the title track has some interestingly discordant harmonies throughout. “Alone in a Crowd” is the sole highlight (so to speak) and it’s a much better written track that conveys some genuine emotion despite it’s mindlessly formulaic metalcore approach.

This is yet another in the seemingly endless line of tedious core releases. Unless you’re the most determined metalcore completist ever, there’s absolutely no reason to get this album despite what In Flames thinks about their potential. It’s been done and done much better by pretty much everybody else out there. Instead, take the band’s own advice and burn this in beautiful fire, it might smell nice. ‘Nuff said.

 

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  • Martus

    C’mon, Why don’t you tell us what you really think? ;)

  • This is more an opinion of you then it is a review, and your opinion just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • All reviews are opinions by their very nature, my good chap.

    • Steel Druhm

      How exactly would you like me to write music reviews without using my opinion? Should I call and ask yours instead or is there some scientific formula you think should be employed here.

      • Bryan

        I think what Wouter is trying to (not so eloquently) say is, if someone doesn’t like metalcore’s ‘craptastic style’ why even review something in the genre?

        It would be like asking either of you to review some new hip-hop or country album. Despite having potential ‘merits’ within the genre, you would be predisposed to dislike it.

        And for the record, I am not a fan of the style either.

        • It’s a good question. I mean, I try to review everything we get out of respect to the label. I actually think bad reviews are just as good reviews for figuring a record out. If everyone just reviewed CDs they liked, then music websites would look like they.. do.. Oh right. Well, it’s bullshit, right? ‘Cause metal zines online are fucking love dens of ass kissing music that people like while just ignoring CDs they don’t like because somehow they can’t be ‘objective’ about them.

          So yeah, that’s my thinking. We review everything and if it sucks, it sucks. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. And everyone can get pissed or happy, but either way we’ve spewed our self-righteous opinions at the world and that’s that.

  • Steel Druhm

    Bryan,

    A fair question and the answer is, because Angry Metal Guy industries only has a few dedicated writers and we have to try to review as much new stuff as we can each month. I tend to dislike metalcore intensely but I have to cover everything that I get assigned. I try to be fair and in some instance I like it and in some I really hate it. I think even as metalcore goes, this particular album is extremely weak and derivative. If someone is a huge fan of the style, they may truly love it, but in this case, I kinda doubt it.

  • Martus

    AMG & SD,
    All power to you guys. I discovered this site a while ago and have stuck with it because I find its reviews and opinions extremely fair and balanced, and because of the wide range of metal it covers.
    You give some really high scores to stuff I know I won’t like, and some low scores to stuff I probably would. But you always give a good indication of what I’m going to find on a record. (Although I have to agree with you when it comes to metalcore)
    My original comment really was made with my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek.
    Keep Rockin’

  • Steel Druhm

    Martus, AMG and I appreciate your readership and your comments, keep em coming!!!

  • tomo

    man, you must be mentally ill if you think Tommy Hjelm is a bad vocalist! honestly, he is probably on the top of the list of good metal vocalist of these days. he has amazing voice expansion, and singing style which IS absolutely recognizable. iam the big fan of their music and i must say this album has its secret treasures and its not so easy to understand them – as you think, thats why it left you standing behind the door. its your problem, not theirs. anyways, silent epidemic is closer to me.

  • Steel Druhm

    Actually, I’m quite sane and this album is pretty crappy. The screaming vox are 100% average and his clean singing is well below average. If you enjoyed this, kudos.

  • this review is a nonsense. you probably never listened this album and dont know what metalcore really means. this stuff ih far beyond metalcore, its quite original and fresh, compositions are strong and well-written. its rather post-metal/djent oriented, but those terms are not important if you have to find really good piece of music here. i suggest to listen once again to find out what this album is really about.

  • Steel Druhm

    Techmetal, I forced myself to listen to it several times and it was not pleasant. This isn’t post-metal, just post-good.

  • this is why im curious why you said this is a metalcore. i agree you can have your own opinion that the music is not interesting, but for god’s sake, its not the music style you think it is. just listen to “Alone in the Crowd” which is definitely the best track here – its experimental extreme progressive metal.

  • Steel Druhm

    This sounds just like all the bands trying to bridge melo-death with American hardcore and dump in poppy radio-friendly choruses to get radio airplay. To me that is metalcore. If you want to say its more deathcore fine, same difference to me. This is not experimental or progressive at all as far as I’m concerned.

  • ok, thats your opinion, mine is quite different. i cannot see any metalcore here as well as melo-death, deathcore, emo/screamo or similar. this is rather complex modern thrash/djent mixed with some Meshuggah oriented tunes with some progressive and experimental elements. just let the audience decide for themselves which description is more adequate.

  • Steel Druhm

    Its a review, you’re free to agree or not agree. To me, this is pretty worthless. If you love it, kudos.

  • tomo

    Iam back to read some more reactions and I must say that i totally agree with mr. techmetal!! he KNOWS what he is speaking about. cheers guys

  • Daniel

    “that explains why In Flames has sucked so thoroughly since Colony”

    I’m sorry, sir, but the thorough sucking ensued after Reroute to Remain, and if you’re implying that Clayman hasn’t a place among the most enjoyable albums of the genre (or is flat-out bad?) as an In Flames fan I’m quite taken aback.

    Sidenote: as far as the present album goes, it seems irredeemably boring and uninspired.