F U L L . R E V I E W S


Insense - Soothing Torture - 2006 - Candlelight Records

Track Listing
1. Helplessness
2. Making Up For Lost Time
3. I, Deviant
4. Gasping For Air
5. Constriction
6. The Forgiving Embrace
7. Soothing Torture
8. Clawing At The Nerve
9. A Prayer For The Feeble
10. Fallout
"Soothing Torture" marks this Norwegian metalcore's second record to date and first release here in the US. The band released this album back in 2005 through Black Balloon records and now it is getting a domestic release courtesy of powerhouse label Candlelight Records. With this sort of hardcore stance and mosh pit availability, Insense will find plenty of eyes and ears here on red, white, & blue shores. The group rage through nine cuts of technical and precise abrasive metal scrapings, all served up with a rather loose production courtesy of singer Tommy Hjelm. The band showcase some really comprehensive song patterns and structures with all ingredients and elements leaning into that spiral design of aggression and harsh overtones. This tunnel is designed to eventually lead into the very heart of melody and accessible vocals. Hjelm uses a gruff, hardcore vocal approach but mixes in some clean vocal passages that really help "level" and focus the band into more melodic aspirations. There are A LOT of these bands going around but rarely do you find an act concentrate on the progressive side of their craft. Insense is a band that really focuses all energy and creative vision on developing a sense of atmosphere and rock sensibilities. The end result is a fantastic album that really can be neatly absorbed by the metalcore enthusiast while still entertaining and pleasing the progressive alchemists. Highly recommended for fans of Slipknot, Diecast, and Fear Factory.



--EC 03.12.06
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: INSENSE
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TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Soothing TortureInsense
2006
Eric Compton3/14/2006


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