Inisans – Transition (2018) REVIEW

Six years after their ‘Morbid Vision of Death’ demo Swedish death metal vagabonds Inisans have landed with their first full-length ‘Transition’. Initially a blurry storm of curses and death/thrash aesthetics, it’s savage old school conceptions and performances are ultimately inspired. The sleepy, half-intense droop of their demo is wiped clean as ‘Transition’ sees the project nearing it’s decade anniversary with a professional death/thrash influenced sound that’d have fit in perfectly with the ’92-’94 widespread death metal epidemic. Naming Chilean death/thrash masters Pentagram and Norwegian obscurities Cadaver as their jumping off point, much of ‘Transition’ blasts and howls from the maw beyond like an early Mortem (Peru) record that occasionally shows outward-reaching influences and lightly appropriated Swedish death metal DNA.

I would liken the spirited appearance of ‘Transition’ to the likewise surprising revelation that Iniquity was with ‘Serenadium’ back in 1996. Their music isn’t vitally similar but the smart mix of influence and Scandinavian death metal histrionics makes for inspired and impressive style. The actual sound of ‘Transition’ is somewhere between the ‘Altars of Madness’-lead hordes of Obscure Burial or Sadistic Intent and the Swedish variations found in groups like Verminous and Excruciate. The hollowly howled vocals play no small part in my overall impression of the band and their intensely death/thrash influenced riffing helps cement old school authenticity within Inisans‘ wheelhouse. This all sort of adds up to ‘Transition’ coming close to matching the intensity of Repugnant and it comes just short of standing out in the same way for the lack of straying beyond the confines of old school death metal.

The echoing and noisome production does a good job of adding a more full-bodied intensity to the record but initially masks some of the less interesting rhythm guitar work. They’re not exactly emptying clips of riffs all at once like Atomic Aggressor so don’t get too excited about all of the luciferian death/thrash references. The only way that younger death metal bands manage to modernize old school death metal tropes is within carefully tuned production and finding new and interesting riffs and arrangements that feel fresh. In this way Inisans succeeds on ‘Transition’ in terms of using heightened atmospherics to give character to relatively easygoing death/thrash inspired variation. A rare example of the ‘work smarter not harder’ vision of old school death metal that contains equal parts Sadism and Verminous.

‘Transition’ is inspired and fluid in it’s aggressive delivery. The traditions of old school death metal may inform every movement but their grasp of style, and taste for gasping horror-edged heaviness, makes for a thrilling listen. The first half of this succinct 30 minute record is the least redundant without a great deal of variation showing up beyond “Demon Wings”. Repeated listening actually saw ‘Transition’ blurring into one larger piece that amounted to variations on theme and dynamic. Not unusual for a death metal album, but their ideas really rip harder on songs like “Tombstone” and “Darkness Profound” compared to the variations that come after. The actual blasted-out old school reverb of the record is absolutely perfect and the right sound does a lot to assuage my riff-crafting grievances. An overall excellent debut from a readily promising and inspired death metal band.

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Artist Inisans
Type Album
Released April 6, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Blood Harvest Records Bandcamp! Follow Inisans on Facebook
Genres

Gods of the storm. 3.5/5.0

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