Friday, October 05, 2012

Insepulto: Morbid Spawn of Resurrection (2012)

Guest review by Patrick, proprietor of Beards, Etc.

Insepulto are a Costa Rican death metal act who released their debut album Morbid Spawn of Resurrection last month. The members all appear to be active parts of other groups in the current Costa Rican death metal scene, but I was not familiar with them or any of their related bands prior to hearing this.

In some ways, this album could be heaped on the pile of old school death metal releases that seems to be growing wildly out of control these past few years [I know I can't keep up--FMA.]. They do certainly draw heavily on older influences, though not really from the earliest glimmers of Florida death metal or the buzzsawing Swedes. Rather, they are more in the vein of some of the slower, more bass heavy death metal acts that emerged in the early 90's. And I found them more compelling than a simple old school clone for a few reasons. For one thing, the beefy riffing comes with a welcome level of energy and is often surprisingly catchy. For another, the scattering of soaring leads are employed perfectly to accentuate and punctuate the material.

The most important thing that really sets this band apart, though, is the vocalist. His voice is malevolent and dynamic, with an ability to change things up as he goes, and he has a strangely fascinating quality to his delivery in many places. In a weird way he often reminds me of Johnny Cash, in that it almost feels like he is rhythmically talking his way through the vocal passages rather than outright singing. But instead of Johnny's cracking baritone, he's doing it in a deeply guttural death growl that is one of the most stunningly intelligible examples of the style I've ever encountered. The net effect is that it sounds like a demon is standing there talking to you while death metal musicians play in the background. This really makes the material come across as personally menacing in a very different way than the typical directionless violence found in the genre. I should point out that this is not the case on every track, but it crops up often enough to be noteworthy.

Now sadly, there are some downsides to be found. Most notably, the band really needs to break up their pace more than they do. The riffing is mostly good, but it rarely deviates much from a solid mid-tempo crunch. And virtually every song is the same length. All but two fall between three and three-and-a-half minutes. This isn't the end of the world, but some greater structural variety would probably improve the overall listening experience. In addition to this, while they play it well, the band's basic approach really doesn't break any new ground. Of course, that almost goes without saying in straight-up death metal these days, so it's not a major detriment.

On the whole, despite these minor complaints, I really enjoyed this record. They are not pioneering a new style or anything, but what the band does, they do exceptionally well. Above all, I was personally quite captivated by the vocals. The album is more than worthy of a listen.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Very good death metal with plenty of crunch and some excellent vocals.

Psycho Records

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I know this isn't the right place to post this, but I just published an article about Indonesian brutal death metal. I hope you don't mind that I borrowed the format from your Atlas of Metal series. I loved that series, but it hasn't been updated in a long time, so I took matters into my own hands by taking a look at one of my favorite scenes.