Crustacean - Insaniac
Cold Blood Industries
Thrash/Death Metal
12 songs (35:21)
Release year: 2003
Crustacean, Cold Blood Industries
Reviewed by Crims

It’s always nice to hear a band like Crustacean. New Thrash bands are few and far between compared to other genres; at least as far as 80’s influenced Thrash goes. Surely, Crustacean do have a slight Death Metal feel at times, but rather than an overpowering element, it is more of a subtle touch. While not entirely concise, Insanic is a solid second full-length offering from Crustacean.

Staring out with a song called Arena- an obvious nod to the PC game Quake III: Arena due to the opening sound effects- gives the indication that they’re going to be in your face with full intensity and anger throughout the entire CD. Without a doubt, this is definitely true; much like classic Slayer (the main influence of this band) Crustacean never lets up for a second, with a constant pounding of double bass and Thrash drum patterns that is pure mid to late 80’s Thrash. Meanwhile, the guitars are full of chops and the occasional Death Metal influence from the likes of Dismember or Pestilence. This Death Metal influence doesn’t happen as often as other Death/Thrash bands, but when they bring out the Dismember riff style you’ll know it.

Intense head banging moments show up on a regular basis and they give very little chance for the listener to take a breath. Even though the majority of the riffs, song structures, and drumming are very reminiscent of Slayer, the band does have their own feel, which I feel is very important. This is due to two reasons: the first is the vocals. Best described as a semi-Death, very gruff, almost spoken style, the vocals are very unique, however, the actual phrasing is similar to Tom Araya on the first two Slayer CD’s as well as the godly Russ Anderson on the first two Forbidden CD’s. But as noted, the sound and overall effect is very different. I’m a little torn on the vocal issue though. On one hand it gives the band that unique sound I referred to and there are some catchy moments such as on Foul Usurper, Arena, and Bloodshot, but on the other hand it may be a turn off to many listeners and it takes a while to get used to. Sometimes I really liked it and at other times I would think that a more conventional Thrash style would have suited the music a little better. Also, every once in awhile the singer uses a deep death growl which I thought sounded excellent and while I wouldn’t want it to be main vocal style employed by the band, more usage would have added nice dynamics to the music. The second reason that causes Crustacean to sound different than their main musical influences is the production: it’s very loud and everything is mixed almost equally, except maybe the bass, but the drums and guitars are equally powerful, with the latter being heavy and in your face. The main point here is that even though the music is 80’s influenced, the production is more modern, which gives Crustacean an interesting contrast that works in their favor.

Granted, Crustacean isn’t overly technical or flashy, but they don’t need to be. That’s not the point. What the band does, they do very well and Metal needs more bands like this. I will say, however, that on top of the occasional vocal issues, not every song was as interesting as they could have been or as developed. The CD starts out very strong, becomes a little weaker during the mid-section (mostly due to underdeveloped songs), and ends very strong with some absolutely punishing tracks, including my favorite Foul Usurper with honorable mention to State Necropolis which also uses a short sound clip from Quake III: Arena. While no new ground is broken this is a solid release that only falters slightly in the song-writing department from time to time. I recommend this to Thrash fans, but take note; you’ve been warned about the vocals.

Killing Songs :
Arena, Bloodshot, Pyscho 2001, Lost (Head), Random Terror (Chemical Juggernaut), Foul Usurper, State Necropolis
Crims quoted 82 / 100
Jay quoted 80 / 100
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