Album review: INSANIA – V Praeparatus Supervivet

Frontiers [Release date 12.11.21]

Few bands get back together after a 14 year breakup, but that’s what Sweden’s Power Metal band, Insania have done.

Twin vocalists, twin guitars, bubbling bass and ahhh… that double kick bass drum thump on the opening and title track, ‘Praeperatus Supervivet’ (Prepare to Survive), confirm that all the pieces are in place. They sound like they’ve never been away. But is that necessarily a good thing?

The music maybe sounds a bit too “squared away” now, no loose ends, no ragged edges, perhaps just not enough grit in the mix to give it real contemporary relevance.
That doesn’t mean the songwriting isn’t strong. In fact, this is as strong melodically as you’ll get in power metal.

‘Moonlight Shadows’ and ‘My Revelation’ are both finely drawn pieces of power metal song crafting. But much as we admire these songs, we’re looking hard for the stomping, stadium filling anthems that come with today’s Power Metal, that abrasive mix of colliding sounds, detonating beats and blazing heavy metal thunder.

‘Solur’, ‘Blood Tears and Agony’ and ‘Dragonborn’ come closest. As they speed off into the distance, vocalists, Ola Halen and Dmitri Keiski reach for those skyscraping heights we recall of Iron Maiden and Halloween, the bands that Insania covered in their youthful startup years.

Standing by their side, the twinned up guitars of Peter Ostros and Niklas Dahlin strike many attractive melodic poses, but spend most of their time accelerating through fast straights and negotiating hairpin bends, leading us into a land of hardbodied, combative power metal, brimful of solid mixes of power metal aggression.

More next time please. ***

Review by Brian McGowan

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