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Insane – Victims

by Leanne Evans at 03 May 2021, 10:12 PM

After their vicious 2017 album release, “Evil”, Swedish monster thrash quartet INSANE is back with a much more visceral release, their sophomore album, “Victims”, to satisfy your insatiably bloodthirsty thrash soul, and defecate on the corpses of anyone who just doesn’t ‘get’ thrash. The boys have past and present associations with bands ranging from WITCH BLADE and AVSKUM, to NATTRAMN and BLUES PILLS, but trust me when I say that INSANE really is one-of-a-kind. Serving up nothing short of sonic brutality in classic thrash formula, INSANE is here to maim with sound. They’re unapologetically remorseless for aurally sodomising you with their tumultuous talent and serving up a terrifyingly traumatic thematic; there’s no airs, no graces, just barbarous bloody thrash.

From the fittingly hostile dissonant dual-guitar harmony, in the intro of “Maximum Force”, you know that “Victims” is a ten-track campaign of pure bloodshed and gore. Lyrically focused on the darkly depraved world of Swedish murderers, “Victims” ensues with a fiendishly frenzied attack of sanguinary sound. With overtly murderous track-titles, including the likes of “Sinister Night”, “At Dawn They Die” and “Skullcrusher”, INSANE’s bludgeoning is incessant in both lyrics and sonics. Their bestial butchering pulls influence from many a nuance; the speed of MERCYFUL FATE, the tone of VENOM, the style of early ONSLAUGHT, and you could say a smattering of CELTIC FROST combined with SLAYER with content and familiarity.

Steely tracks like “The Sword” bound in with urgency in driving drumming, deep bass lines and gritted vocals, and plenty of meat to the bone with the incessant riffing later in the track. The boisterousness of INSANE continues to rip through you in “Cruel Command”, a piece that would definitely be an absolute belter live, especially with Gustaf’s pained shouted vocals. The smattering of feedback adds to the rawness, and the blistering dual-guitar action delights later in the composition, with everything reaching a crescendo and creating a sense of pandemonium.
Atmospheric brilliance is something that seems second-nature to INSANE and they nail it in the instrumental interlude, “The Theme -Victims”. As haunting as the intro of SLAYER’s “Dead Skin Mask”, INSANE create a delightfully dark composition, with a noticeable lack of drums and just the wonder of guitar, transpiring as an aptly tormented track in preparation for “Sinister Night”. The riffs are catchy and chunky, the energy is bursting at the seams, as if on a murderous killing spree, and the onslaught continues in “At Dawn They Die”. What a bit of bestial brilliance this track is! Balls-deep in menacing terror from the word “go”, INSANE inject a horror movie feel with the knife-sharp intro and the unnerving build-up transpires as a Venom “Black Metal” sounding piece in parts. Tempo switches and ravaged drumming make for chaotic waves ripping through you and you’re pelted by Gustaf and Erik’s guitar lines from every which way.

“Sanitarium” makes for a steadier tempo track, but with all the familiar carnage that INSANE spew so effortlessly with great depth to the rhythm, and the same can be said for “Skullcrusher”, although its speed hits you like tonne weight smashed in your face, from the outset. The licks and guitar harmonies on this are to die for, sincerely, a very tasty listen! And then we come back to the “atmospheric brilliance” that I mentioned earlier in “Oblivious Void”, all pulled down with its abyssal depth until it splits like a skull being cracked open with pure blood-spilling rage in Johnny’s EPIC double-bass drumming, sterling riffing and guitars disgorging shredding like there’s no tomorrow in the mid-section. And last, but not least, “Tormented Death”; this is not here to assault…this is here to annihilate! A very heady mix of wretched vocals, Rickard’s ever-present brutal bass work and a glorious display of solid guitar lines, with a thrash meets heavy metal vibe towards the end, but ultimately, creates an explosive all-out thrash finale.

Now take a breath, a good sharp inhalation at that, fill your lungs to the brim and calm the fuck down; you’ll need to after the thrill of “Victims”!
Listening to INSANE’s latest release, there wasn’t a second that went by where I didn’t want to tear shit up. They’re a ferocious outfit and, whilst a few of the track titles sound a little familiar – SLAYER’s “At Dawn They Sleep”, ONSLAUGHT’s “Skullcrusher I” - you can safely say that INSANE draw their inspiration from the big boys, but most definitely have an identity that’s truly their own. “Victims” is a battlefield of sound and a combination of pure piss-boiling anger and gut-wrenching rage, that explodes and courses through your veins, creating nothing short of a savage bloodthirsty attack. Completely worth the aural annihilation and every bit of eardrum bursting barbarity.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Maximum Force
2. The Sword
3. Cruel Command
4. The Theme – Victims
5. Sinister Night
6. At Dawn They Die
7. Sanitarium
8. Skullcrusher
9. Oblivious Void
10. Tormented Death
Gustaf Hellberg – Vocals and Guitars
Erik Kristhammar – Guitars
Rickard Nygren – Bass
Johnny Lebisch – Drums
Record Label: Dying Victims Productions


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