InsurrectionDutch melodic death metal come thrash slingers Insurrection formed in 2010 and set about making their reputation as a serious act with continual touring and hard hitting music. Having shared the stage with bands like Destruction, Hypocrisy and Evergrey, the four piece have finally released their first EP – a 6 track offering of powerful thrash and death metal goodness. The band themselves have said “Mothers be warned! Keep an eye on your daughters!”, let’s see if the warning should be heeded.

“Armageddon” opens the EP with some machine gun like riffing and rapid-fire drums. A huge death metal styled scream followed by a very Dark Tranquillity like sounding riff which is thick with groove follows. The harsh vocals are delivered with some serious bite and its impossible not to headbang along once it catches you. The slower paced section of the song round the 1:35 mark has a haunting clean melody over some very At The Gates styled work – big riffs and some melodic and skilful lead work. As it picks up the pace for the end of the song, the powerful groove comes back once more and this track serves as a perfect taster for what Insurrection are all about.

“Catatonic” is the title track and it opens with the same ferocity as the previous track. With a more thrashy feel to it, this one has a solid rhythm and awkward and intimidating repeated main riff which goes under the vocals for the verse, creating a sense of something big coming. In the chorus it gets more crushing in its feel which is helped on by the screamed vocals and squealing harmonics mixed in with the chugging rhythms. There’s an evil sounding break towards the end of the track which leads into another solo which snakes its way through the lead section with some nice harmony sections before a pounding ending wraps the track up.

“Exile” has a great headbanging feel intro which plenty of precise pounding double bass work. The song turns into a frantic paced number which draws attention to the work of the rhythm section which blasts its way through the track which has an almost Immortal quality to it (Think One by One) in terms of sound. Vocally it’s as strong as the other two tracks and the riffing is fantastic too. Great moment round 2:45 where a solo riff section kicks into the second main lead part which outshines the first one comes in which helps set up a high intensity ending.

“Conspiracy” is more of the same – complex riffs, fast paced rhythms and in your face attitude and feel. The Scandinavian death metal feel to this one is fantastic, it has a very early In Flames sound to it (Jester race – Colony era) and you could be mistaken for thinking this track is actually by a Scandinavian band given the precision of the twisting riffs and punishing rhythm work. An eerie feeling lead section with some powerful screams over it gives way to a big sounding middle section which will get you banging your head as it chugs along with some serious groove and the outro is brought in by another twisting melodic solo which turns into a harmony lead section to wrap it up.

“Apotheosis” opens with a noticeably heavy low end series of riffs. The pounding bass and drums backing the burst like chug of the guitars sounds like it would work fantastic in a live setting and the feel of the rhythm is just perfect for windmill headbanging too, so if you can, let the hair fly on this one. Some of the lead sections are twisty but delivered with precision so they don’t seem out of place and this is probably the best track off the EP. It’s a shameless salute to all things melodic death metal and it works perfect. The breakdown round the middle is hard hitting and the guitar work is well executed as the twisting riffs turn to punchy riffs which you know will set a live crowd off before the frantic paced outro brings it all home for the final track.

“Moribund” closes the EP and unlike the other tracks, this one is slower paced which leads to a sense of anticipation for when it will explode to life. At the 43 second point it does with a very thrash like feel which speeds everything back up with a Haunted-like feel to it. The fast paced track is much like the rest of the EP -harsh vocals, perfectly timed rhythm and riff after riff of headbanging groove. The lead work is melodic and simple, placing more emphasis on melody and overall impact of the track and it’s a good way to close the recording.

“Catatonic” is a great example of what this promising melodic death metal with heavy thrash influenced band has to offer. Musically, its spot on and the band members are a well oiled unit but the only drawback is that it is rather samey in terms of how the songs are structured, there is little variance to them. Still, despite the predictability, it’s a damn fine EP and worth listening to!

(7/10 Fraggle)