Insect Inside – The First Shining of New Genus Review

You may be shocked, but for someone claiming to be a purveyor of sonic abuse and extreme destruction, I am a death metal fraud. I contribute yearly to Ferrous Beuller‘s death metal round-up, write about death metal albums aplenty, and throw death metal gems into my year-end lists. But ask me about Morbid Angel and I’ll say “meh,” demand my favorite Bolt Thrower album and I’ll say “4th Crusade? I think?”,1 and blast Deicide in my face and I’ll sound like my mother: “it all sounds the same.” If you interrogate me about black metal, I’ll whip out my handy-dandy non-Lords of Chaos-earned knowledge and pinpoint the differences between raw and atmoblack in a heartbeat. But death metal? I can barely tell the difference between an OSDM and a slam. Will Insect Inside prove me wrong about the latter’s oft-maligned style?

Slam is a style I’ve never understood. Often layered with gory shock novelty and the variety of deathcore, bands like Abominable Putridity and Epicardiectomy have only gotten a head-scratch from me with endless “djunz” and br00tal “eeeeees.” Insect Inside is a young Russian trio from Zlatoust, a demo and single released since their 2017 inception. Debut LP The First Shining of New Genus creates the soundtrack of being eaten alive by the swarm in its beatdown of groovy, thick riffs, and hell-scraping gutturals. While the results are definitely brutal death metal with slam leanings, its sheer energy, technical influences, and unique aesthetic puts Insect Inside a step above other brutal snoozers.

Insect Inside relies on unpredictability to elevate beyond the brutal stereotype. Shifting tempos, groovy rhythms, technical leads, pinch harmonics, and flashes of dissonance keep its grinding slams and beatdown sections from growing too stagnant. The title track, “Evisceration Through the Throat,” and “Embalming for Chrysalis” are wild blasters that marry Kirill Meschersky’s head-bobbing concrete-thick riffs and squealing leads with Daniil Sementsov’s relentless percussion, and Dmitry Borisyuk climactic vocals. “Derelict Sanity” is particularly a highlight, relying on blazing shreds, a nearly dissonant tech-death overlay, and Brain Drill-esque BPM-wrecking blastbeats. Kevin Muller from The Merciless Concept breathes new life into “Posthumous Grief,” providing fiery roars in contrast to Wormed-esque croaks, while Kirill Nazarov from Disfigurement of Flesh offers a gurgling surge to “Revival of Godly Deformity.” The First Shining…’s production is thick and meaty, as drums balance the razor’s edge with pong snare and pulverizing double bass, while bass guitar shines from the depths with technical noodling. It’s a shame when otherwise solid brutal albums are doomed by excessive song-lengths, so Insect Inside’s debut is tastefully fulfilling at thirty-three minutes.

Insect Inside’s biggest sin is that it’s slam, and as such, The First Shining of New Genus’ target audience is limited. Tracks like “For the Glory of Swarm” and closer “Pulsating Earth” are very straightforward slammers of glacial-paced djunz that evoke little excitement besides brainless beatdown fun. Opener “Sickening Ground” is far too short following the intro, questioning its inclusion in the first place. As each track follows similar patterns, this also makes the guest vocalists that much more vital to Insect Inside’s success, providing a quick reprieve from their progressively monotonous low-end pummeling. Borisyuk’s vocal performance varies little from low roars to croaking gurgles, and as such, the instrumentals take center stage. Ultimately, you’d be hard-pressed to find any deviation from the slam palette, as its groovy riffs and technical leads, albeit engaging, are nonetheless firmly planted in territory previously explored by Gorevent, Pathology, and Analepsy.

Thanks to the Diabolus in Muzaka and TheKenWord-ordained crash course for this particular niche I knew little to nothing about, I feel a little less fraudulent. More informed than prior to Insect Inside’s introduction into my slam-less life, I can conclude that The First Shining of New Genus is about as good as a slam debut gets, even if it sits comfortably within its ranks. For those with weak or unaccustomed constitution, Insect Inside may provide a nice introduction to the style with its swarm-themed aesthetic without sacrificing its teeth-kicking heaviness. These Russians will not change your mind about slam in any way, and the aural wreckage emitted tends to fall into monotony. But with enough technical flourishes, guest spots, and unpredictable rhythms all in a concise package, Insect Inside’s The First Shining of New Genus offers concussive slam that will get you buzzing.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Gore House Productions
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: February 19th, 2021

Show 1 footnote

  1. I keed, I keed.
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