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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