Insatia - Asylum Denied
Self Financed
Melodic Female-Fronted Metal
13 songs (50)
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Joel
Surprise of the month
Insatia is a Tucson Arizona based, female-fronted melodic metal band. The band features Zoe on vocals, Jon "Duck" Harris on guitars(As well bass,keyboards and back up vocals on the disc), and Jester on drums. I am happy to say, this is a US based band, in a genre normally dominated by Europeans. Asylum Denied is their debut disc, and for an independent band, it is well made, not perfect, but definitely way better than average.

The title track opens the disc, with a short symphonic piece, a sorrow minor key melody that leads directly into the first track, Journey's Call. Atmospheric wind effects open the first fifteen seconds, as it sets the atmosphere, before the entire band joins in. The song does a great job of building up the tempo, before the song gets heavier. Zoe's voice enters, and she has a powerful voice that demands your attention without being aggressive. Her vocals are very natural, and not forced. "Duck" has a very well played solo at just over the minute mark, with some well placed drums fills by Jester. For a band putting out their debut disc, they could not have started off the disc with a better song. On Taking Flight, Zoe's vocals here and on other songs remind me Charlotte Wessel's from Delain. Her delivery of the vocals more than just her tone. The song has a very straight forward guitar riff, and a few occasional death-like vocals, which honestly have been done better elsewhere. The scarcity of these vocals make them easier to digest, and they really don't take away from the song too much. Forbidden Kingdom, Heartsong, and Man Alive, all feature a very similar straight-forward driving guitar riff and some creative drumming. Zoe's vocals remain consistent through them all, I really like her vocals on Man Alive during the chorus, as well as Duck's solo on this song. It fits the song perfectly, and does not overstay its welcome.

Image of Stone is next and it slows things down a bit, with Zoe's beautiful vocals. Her voice really shines on this song, and you can hear her range. The song also uses some vocal effects in the chorus that adds another layer to the song. Duck also adds backup vocals during the chorus, and I prefer his vocals on this song, to the previous mentioned, death-like vocals. The video for Image of Stone can be seen here

The power metal like intro of The Sight is next, with some great soloing again, and some good drumming from Jester with a nice backbeat that makes the songs tempo, feel more upbeat. Zoe keeps up nicely with the faster parts of the song, and adds a nice falsetto here and there. Bleeding You is next and the song features some nice double bass drumming and a faster tempo in the intro. A stop and go riff is feature during the verses, while the choruses Zoe reaching higher in her vocal range, and her voice here, would bring comparisons to what either Floor Jansen or Simone Simmons(Epica) has done. Again brief death vocals are back from Duck, and again they are so scarce that it doesn't take anything away from the song itself. If they were going to make another video, I would make one of this song, because it would show another side of the band, not heard on Image of Stone. Deceit starts with a synth melody before a more straight ahead -like melody. With all the comparisons I have made, you can definitely hear where their influences are. They are definitely not clones of their idols, but use them as an influence for their own sound. I Know Not(This Heart) and Uncaged are again the of the faster variety, while Shattered Serenity is the longest song on the disc, at just under eight minutes and it's also the last one. Shattered Serenity finds the band changing tempos, similar to Image of Stone at times, to a slower acoustic section about three and a half minutes in. This song definitely shows you a lot of what the band has to offer, and even though its as long as it is, the songs keeps your attention to the very end. Duck's extended solo's on this song, definitely deserves notice. His playing while not overly complex, does not have to be, its well played and each song has its own flow. While some songs melody or tempo wise may come off as repetitive, if you dig deeper, you can hear so variance between the songs. I believe for a debut disc, Insatia has done a proper job of introducing themselves, and I look forward to having the opportunity to hearing and possibly reviewing their sophomore disc.

Killing Songs :
Journey's Call,Forbidden Kingdom, Shattered Serenity, Image of Stone
Joel quoted 85 / 100
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