Release DetailsLABEL Garden of Exile
RELEASED ON 5/14/2004
Fire Reflects In Ashes
posted on 10/2004 By:
Those of you predisposed to entering lashes that consist of “FUCK METALCORE” or “STOP REVIWING THIS SHIT!!!” just might as well go ahead and click on the Deaden review, throw on your Cannibal Corpse albums and get to studying your pre college algebra, as this act hailing from the unlikely hardcore country of The Netherlands is the kind of band that drives you guys nuts. However, ignoring this will prompt you to miss one of the year’s most surprisingly heavy albums of any genre.
Not the kind of post Prayer For Cleansing melodic metalcore, but a far heavier, pummeling beast along the lines of Heaven Shall Burn or Dead To Fall, Instil’s Hatebreed meets At The Gates semblance of metalcore is crushing, heartfelt and genuinely emotive without the overuse of complex melodic harmonies. Instil rely on rising producer Tue Madsen’s best (In-Quest, Heaven Shall Burn, Cataract, Destiny, Born From Pain) production effort to date to carry the band’s low end rumble and introduce subtle underlying harmonies beneath the lumbering exterior to carry their rending sound. Free of usual metalcore pseudo intellectualism, Instil simplify their approach with massive riffs and slicing, thrashing structures that due to Madsen’s godly production would make most death bands quiver. The undulating harmonies are muted rather than forcefully upfront and delicate, they add a somber mood to the devastating riffs with a rather understated sense of metalcore’s innate emotion.
Although hardly innovative, Instil instead just rely on strength of their heaviness to beat the listener into submission rather than coddle with clean vocal breaks or interludes; only the title track emotes with a timely piano ending, but otherwise the album is mercilessly pounding without relying on telegraphed, predictable breakdowns. “Time, Love and Memories” delivers the album's most harmonic cut with an addictively melodic take on the album’s already scathing delivery. The acoustic intro to “Transient” is somewhat clichéd, but it only serves to open the door to a ruinous, Androgen injected At The Gates styled gallop that has more girth than many supposedly 'heavier' acts. Mostly though, tracks like “Stronghold”, “Chimera”, “Affected” and the gargantuan “Devoid of Guarantees” are thick, chugging tracks laced with a non intrusive sense of melody that’s cleverly implemented to not come across as too wispy or emo. The vocals of Renee Smit are more of a death metal roar than a metalcore scream, and it just adds to the album’s overall aura of brutality. Despite its drawn out, hidden track antics, the mammoth “Heaven Torn Asunder” is a fitting endnote to a satisfyingly, lengthy album that surprises as much with its fierce tempo as it does its origin.
Highly recommended for fans of any bands mentioned in this review, but especially for those who prefer their hardcore beefier, with a death metal edge that lurches at a bruising pace and delivery that seems to be the M.O for European metalcore.
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