If you’re in the market for the latest moshable hot take on new-fashioned ‘old school’ death metal churned out on a whim within a year or two of conception there are no doubt a thousand worm spittin’, excitable sewer bro crews and all manner of admittedly pretty fun options out there. Still, there is nothing like stumbling into the true seventh circle conjured by a pure, truly violent death metal band putting in the work to hit the actual sound and standards of the better remembered acts of the early 90’s. That’d be what sets Los Angeles, California-borne quartet Insineratehymn apart from a lot of the pack, though they’re hitting the auld ’89-’93 standard in the finest of traditions on their second full-length album ‘Disembodied‘ the goal isn’t nu-style points but instead making evil hair over the eyes and harder-than-thou headbanging riff obsessed stuff that is impossible to mistake for trend-hopping or fuckery.

The original rhythm section and vocalist of Insineratehymn alongside guitarist (and now vocalist) Frank Montero all played in nowadays labelmates Transcendence until leaving en masse circa 2015 or so, soon forming their own quartet with lead guitarist Demitree Rivera in 2016. Things came together soon enough as the band side-stepped any demo releases or EPs for a quick introduction and instead kept their heads down until their first full-length ‘A Moment in a Vision‘ released in 2018 and eventually found the band on Rotted Life. Their sound hasn’t changed drastically since then, focusing primarily upon death metal’s impetus and most popular nearby refinement, specifically the linkages between the early east coast United States death metal pulse with some direct Scandinavian influences (they closer the album with a cover of Entombed‘s “Bitter Loss”). The most direct comparison I’d make is probably ‘Penetralia‘-era Hypocrisy due to similar split interest between the translation of late 80’s USDM through that same era of Swedish/Finnish death metal prior to death n’ roll goofin’. This all works so well because their riffing leans more towards the brutality of pre-’95 Deicide and some of the earlier brutal death out of the New York and adjacent scenery, always erring towards brutality and keeping their dukes up.

Beyond a brief intro of finger-picked acoustic guitars and inverted ASMR whispers echoing the similar kick-off for ‘A Moment in a Vision‘, the axe hammers down immediately as opener “Visceral Ignominy” chops away at one of the bigger staccato blast-and-chugged grooves on the album. Deep-set, chest ralphed growls murmur beneath a notably crisp and readable rhythm section — Abraham Garcia‘s drumming is immediately a standout, having tightened his roll considerably since their already fine but decidedly more raw-edged debut and generally providing vital anchor to the quick changes and run-on riffing that dominate the experience otherwise. The next few songs don’t necessarily strike at variations on a theme but wheel right into one another back to back, with “Corporeal Inception” representing a particularly fine example of everything Insineratehymn do best and all manner of global classicist influences packed into one ripping song. These opening pieces are key in developing a no-nonsense, all killer momentum that persists throughout the ~35 minute listen. There are a few interesting wrinkles beyond but you’ll have gotten the thrill of it all quick, the brutal essence of peak North American/European death metal before the realm had lost sight of its point of origin.

The rise-and-fall opening salvo of riffs that kick off “Proliferation of the Deceased” represent the core of what makes a band like Insineratehymn a big fuckin’ deal for my own taste. The three tiered reveal of the songs motif speaks to the best of Scandinavian angularity in the early 90’s but gels extremely well with the harder edged groove that develops throughout the rest of the song. Think of Cartilage (Finland) with their more elastic rhythms scaled back in complexity and given the hardcorish menace of an album like ‘Deliver Me Unto Pain‘. Side A is admittedly the big draw in terms of memorable up front death metal rhythms but you’ll find the second half of the album full of deep cuts that flesh out this style with a bit more substantive movement. “Immolated Ascension” in particular hints at this idea that playing rhythms usually associated with HM-2 guitar tone assisted crunch actually reveals a thrashing, more severe attack and this should be directly compared to “Bitter Loss” at the end of the record for confirmation. Otherwise I’d found this to be one of more varied vocal performances on the album and the piece with the most quick-turns in pace and abrupt transitions which I am always a fan of. Side B generally cranks the intensity and escapes any sort of fatigue in the process.

Insineratehymn aren’t the next big thing, they’re just a damned good death metal band burning away a timeless torch, achieving the quality and consistency that this sort of dedicated ideation should. ‘Disembodied‘ is iteration in the best sense, improving upon all of the best aspects of the quartet’s debut and introducing just enough personalized innovation/development to convey their passion for the genre as enduring. A moderately high recommendation.

Moderately high recommendation. (78/100)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
LABEL(S):Blood Harvest Records,
Rotted Life Records
RELEASE DATE:February 25th, 2022

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