InsaneVesper-CoverHailing from Toulouse France, Insane Vesper are a quartet featuring ex members of Pestiferum, Black Worshippers and Amanite. They formed back in 2002 and it looks like they have had a fair few changes line-up wise between then and now including a vocalist and drummer who were only introduced to the fold in 2015. This is their second album following on from Abomination Of Death also released on the solid and reliable Art Of Propaganda in 2011. These are the facts, what exactly a Vesper is and why it is Insane is pure conjecture as is what the band actually look like under promo shots of them wearing black masks. I have to digress as seeing this all the more common trend I can’t help thinking that if this form of popular apparel were white and that was the colour the band wore they would be better suited carrying epee’s and foils rather than guitars. One day someone is going to do this and we can have a fencing black metal band.

Anyway as I said, I digress, onto the music. Here we have 6 rather bilious tracks of black craft which are thick and cloying with plenty of heft and ballast about them. Booming in with a bruising bottom end production the near ten minute ‘Blood Of The Moon’ has a mid-paced plod to it before opening up and allowing guitars and drums to coat things in melody. I am assuming it is most recent vocalist Vanitas on this and as the track takes off and thunders away he certainly makes his presence felt with a hoary, gruff and blood coated gargle about his parts. This has a real orthodox feel about it and serves up pretty much what you would expect without wavering from the left hand path with anything unnecessary. Sure the songs can be quite lengthy but they unravel well and don’t deviate at all, gritting down with a dogged and steadfast determination. You can easily imagine incense and candles billowing as they play these numbers live and get the requisite atmosphere about them but on album I have to admit it’s all a bit too sterile and workmanlike and despite repeated listens I have had trouble penetrating this, finding it all a bit too methodical for its own good. I wouldn’t say the band are doing anything particularly bad but it’s one of those albums that after hearing is quickly forgotten. Demonic roars and slithering guitars with some thick bass tones see ‘Of Serpent’s Embrace’ picking up the speed and the drums galloping away and it’s suitably powerful stuff. There’s some backing chants added to the thick guttural vocals coming from the back as things slow a bit and the stench of death is invoked. Not bad at all but I still don’t find myself completely gripped and feeling in the paralysis of disease I would normally do.

‘Scorned Ascension’ slows things down a bit and goes into a doomy plod with a fair bit of misery and wretchedness conveyed from the vocals. There’s quite a few changes pace wise here from the slow and gravid to the full attacking hammer and nails brutality and I definitely feel I should be getting a bit more from this but still am failing to do so even when giving my full and complete attention. The end of this one does contain the biggest and possibly only real surprise of the album as it gradually ebbs out with some guitar work that sounds like it has escaped from a Led Zep album, can’t say I was expecting that at all. All in all though this one has not really done that much for me. I guess it’s for others to truly find the occult magic that this one promises.

(6.5/10 Pete Woods)