Review: Insatia – Phoenix Aflame

Building further upon their style, US power metallers Insatia have added to a grand start already by bringing forth even more of their clear, sparkling sound alongside a bevy of special guests to help them spread their powerful sound even further. With a four-year gap in releases and new members in lead guitarist Kaelen Sarakinis and drummer Daniel Millan, the groups’ sophomore release was originally released June 23, 2017 on Pitch Black Records.

Much like their past works, the group is still working quite heavily in the same realms as far as their sound goes which makes for a rather fun time. Efforts like Act of Mercy, Sacred and the title track are still rather impactful in their adopting of mid-tempo chugging rhythms for the vast majority of their work throughout the album which makes for a solidified, simplistic sound which goes rather nicely towards the main selling point here of providing sharp, clear-sounding rhythms. As this set-up provides the album with the opportunity to feature some strong melodies from the keyboards blaring along throughout here as efforts like We Are the Grey, Captor and Captive and Healer of Hatred all utilize some sparkling elements alongside the fine mid-tempo chugging elements. Overall, there’s plenty to like here with the basic attack, it does come upon one main critical factor here in that the album is oftentimes so glossy in its melodies that it oftentimes loses its bite. The main focus here is on commercial rhythms and it causes the album to sound rather flat and one-dimension regardless of the solid riff-work and engaging rhythms featured here. In the end, these here are what lower this one only slightly.

While nowhere near what it could’ve been, the fact that there’s still quite a lot to really like here with this one manages to hold up the vast majority of the album into being a solid choice for fans of sparkling, melody-driven simplistic power metal or those that enjoy female-fronted melodic metal. 8/10

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