insense_deevolutionA few years ago, his majesty Steel Druhm reviewed Insense’s, Burn in Beautiful Fire, and hated the shit out of it, incensing many a fanboy. It was, according to him, “third-rate metalcore with all the emo/screamo pap that goes along with that craptastic style”, and by the end of the review he was ready to build a church out of copies of the album just to trick Varg Vikernes into beautifully turning them all to ash. Naturally, Steel never wants to hear a single chug out of these Norwegians again, so the task of reviewing De:Evolution has plummeted down the totem pole into my hopeful hands. “Hooray!” comes the cry of the fans, “Surely this new reviewer will bring justice to our beloved Insense, and right the wrongs of that petulant website which we shall not name.” Or will he…?

He won’t. De:Evolution is a farce. Had this album not been as bad as it is, I might have gone back and listened to the last album, just to make another cheap joke about the title being predictive of this offering’s relative quality, but that fruit is so low hanging that its underside is picking up grass stains and I’m not putting myself through anything more than I have to. The goal of this document is to prevent you from wasting 41 minutes of your life on this album. If you were faced with a sort of Faustian bargain between not listening to De:Evolution in your entire life and listening to it once in its entirety locked in a room with it, unable to stop it, I want you to know that you should walk away. How this situation might arise, I don’t know, but Obama still hasn’t closed Gitmo and I’m pretty sure that’s something they do there.

????????For those of you who aren’t captive enemies of the United States Government, a longer explanation of this album’s failings is required. I’ll begin at the “[Part I-] Conception” of this drivel, which is – and I have done my best to get an accurate number here without counting through the whole thing – a string of 258 quarter notes. If you took the shittiest breakdown ever written and stretched it over a minute and a half, you’d more or less replicate this opener perfectly. It’s so phenomenally uninteresting that it’s actually fascinating, albeit in a purely theoretical sense. “Part I- Conception” is to music as falling asleep on your keyboard is to literature. Add on to the idiotic guitar line an equally uninteresting drum part and a singer that sounds like the unholy spawn of James Hetfield and a post-hardcore frontman, and you’ve got a pretty damning track.

Thankfully, the rest of the album isn’t as bad as this, but it doesn’t get a whole lot better. “Meandering” starts to set things straight again, with more distinct riffs, but it’s short and feels rushed, making the hopeful midsection uninspiring. It’s miles ahead of the first track, but that just makes it average. The opening riff on “Radio” is gleefully dissonant, and the track’s midsection features crunchy high-end leads, making for a somewhat enjoyable song.

insense_2014The rest of the album never reaches the black pit of failure from whence it sprang, but it continues to be annoying and repetitive. The basic building blocks are tasteless chugs, simplistic and repetitive high-end leads, and throwaway, thrashy, one-note metalcore backing riffs. To their credit, Insense is making music that isn’t easy to categorize, but that’s primarily because there’s no genre tag for metalcore this uneventful and repetitive. The sole interesting point on the album consists of a 10-second bass break on “Procreational Ill,” which is of course set up by guitar chugs. The singer doesn’t help the case, belting out Sally Sob-story lyrics in his whiny clean singing and tough-guy tirades in his tough-guy hardcore yells.

The bottom line is that De:Evolution is a boring collection of uninspired songs that introduces its own tropes only to make them into clichés while exemplifying the worst parts of modern metalcore. It’s over-hyped, uninventive, rhythmically monotonous and lyrically pathetic, and I hate it just as much as Steel Druhm hated the last album. There is no reason to listen to this when so many bands are putting out really good albums and making great music without relying on the Anders Friden hype machine to make themselves known. This is bad.


Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 7  |  Format: 192kbps MP3
Label: Mas-Kina Recordings
Websites: insense.no  |  facebook.com/insense
Release Dates: Out Worldwide on 05.23.2014

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  • Excentric_1307

    I like the part in the video where the drummer is twirling his drumstick in the air; even he is bored and has to find something else to do.

  • Not to kick a band when they’re down, but I wholly agree with this hostile review.

  • Francesco Bordoni

    Metalcore pssfpfpFF

    To date, the only good things that came from it were The Human Abstract’s “Digital Veil”, Adversary’s “Singularity” and Job for a Cowboy’s EP “Doom”. Isles in a vast ocean of mediocre or plain distasteful metal. Curses!

    • NeverBlack

      God Forbid and Converge want to spend some time talking to you, man.

      • Francesco Bordoni

        Mmh I see. Maybe my previous comment didn’t actually express the full magnitude of my prejudice and intolerance towards this genre. I know. My fault.

        Well, I checked some random God Forbid and Converge on youtube and I have to say it: though not even remotely impressed, I’m not repelled either. Any album in particular I should check out from them?

        • NeverBlack

          Of course, dude! Well, I enjoy almost everything by them, but alright, let’s pick their best albums.

          From Converge: Jane Doe is, undoubtedly, their best. But, I enjoy a lot of Axe to Fall, No Heroes and their last album called All We Love We Leave Behind (which ended up being one of Fisting Andrew Golota’s favorite albums of 2012/2013).

          From God Forbid: Determination, Gone Forever and IV: Constitution of Treason are their best.

          By the way, it’s nice to see you are open minded enough to try.

          PS: And sorry for any mistake concerning language, english is not my native language.

      • Luca Niero

        I wouldn’t put God Forbid and Converge on the same bag, you make it sound like they’re similar bands and they’re actually very far removed from each other.

        • NeverBlack

          I know there is, like, an ocean of difference between the bands, but however, both are considered some kind of metalcore.

  • Darren

    Why on earth does Truls Haugen subject himself to this? Someone tell him to focus on Circus Maximus or find another project that’s actually worth something.

    • Tanuki

      Woah, ok so he’s from circus Maximus?, explains a lot then. The most overhyped boring-arse Dream Theatre clones I think I’ve ever heard. Instead of focusing on that he should probably take your latter suggestion

      • Darren

        I don’t think either their second or third albums sounded much like Dream Theater at all, but hey ho. I’d rather Truls did anything else other than this nonsense.

    • Kronos

      Also, both of the guitarists in this group are from Beaten to Death.

      How this band is this bad is beyond me.

  • Wilbur Teegrus

    The riff at 19 seconds sounds like a shameless rip of Nevermore’s song “Final Product.” Feels bad man.

  • Xamoja

    Even tho this “metalcore/whatever it is” is not my thing, I kinda liked their “Burn In Beautiful Fire” album.
    I actually checked this album out when I knew that Insense and Circus Maximus – one of my fav bands – shared the same drummer and I ended up liking it very much. I rly liked the heavy riffs, the “progish” feeling due to different time signatures, the vocals, etc. The lyrics werent the best thing, tho.

    Anyway, I`ll check what they`ve done now. If its as good as their last album, it`ll be worth it.

    Ps: Not bitching here, but are they rly THAT bad in both albums? I certainly have never seen a lower grade than 1,5 here lol.

  • Anon Bananon

    I happened to see these guys live, as an opening act. Normally I’m not into metalcore, but I approached it with an open mind. After an initial “yay, distorted guitars”-moment, however, it got boring very quickly. Such an incredibly generic sound. The only saving grace was the drummer, whom I remember actually being quite impressive (the only aspect of the show I managed to pay any attention to, throughout its duration). Hopefully, he’ll stop wasting those skills and join a better band.

    • Kronos

      He is in fact in a better band (Circus Maxmus), and the guitarists are as well – both from Beaten to Death.
      That makes this group even more inexplicable, because all of the musicians are actually respectable and creative, but for some reason I sense consistently sucks.

  • Robert Turnbull

    This is truly awful.

  • Luca Niero

    I’ve listened to the full album today at Metal Sucks and actually it’s pretty good. One thing I cannot understand is how can you associate the band’s sound with metalcore ‘cause it sounds nothing like Killswitch Engage, As I Laying Dying, etc… At all…

    • What would you call it?

      • Luca Niero

        Not metalcore at least!!! They remind me more of bands like Devil Sold His Soul and Textures than any metalcore act you can think of.

        • Donmuath

          I agree with the texture comparison; they sound a bit like texture with even shittier lyrics.

  • fromtheinside

    i can’t believe how generic this is

  • Luc Laros

    Bullshit, I really like about everything of De:Evolution.

    Riffs, vocals and also DIVERSITY within a song or between the songs etc. It just all fits into place. (I can generate a few pages with specific examples if you guys like.)

    The 4 members really developed album by album. I also like the older stuff though. The know how to create ambiance where those metalcore bands you dare to compare them with are lacking the fuck of.

    Very talented musicians far way to underrated. I ordered my first CD EVER as spoiled almost 19 y/o brat in the download era; this album. That does mean something right? At least for me..

    Listen to metal since 2008 to a whole bunch of genres and we all know metals has most.

    Generally to bands who are well-known (enough) but now I finally see a direct personal ethical obligation in supporting a great band!

    1,5?!

  • markus o

    uhm… actually i like the video. i have to check the rest of the album.