Insatia – Phoenix Aflame

INSATIA is an American/Canadian Power Metal band that I discovered quite by accident a few years ago. As soon as I heard one song I knew that I must have more. This is a band that is powerful but also incorporates some Symphonic Metal elements into their music without overdoing it. That’s important to me because a lot of that symphonic stuff makes me want to hurl a T.V. into my neighbor’s living room. Lead singer Zoë Federoff has an unbelievably strong voice and can belt out a chorus one minute and then go to soft and lilting the next. And while there are keys on these songs, they are used to only enhance the overall structures, and not overpower the guitars, something I hear all too often.

A new album is afoot in the form of Phoenix Aflame, which will be independently released by the band themselves. If you ask me that is downright criminal, because once it’s out there the labels will come a-runnin’ to sign them, hat in hand, wanting to put it out under their brand when they should have jumped onboard in the first place. But, music industry politics/stupidity aside, the real question is, “What about the songs?” I’m glad you asked. Take a listen to “We Are the Gray” and “Sacred” (with some sweet violin work from Erica James) if you want big, soaring choruses. And when it comes to bringing the heavy by the truckload, check out opener “Act of Mercy” as well as album favorite “Phoenix Aflame,” with its amazing harmonies, buzz saw riffage, and incredible solo.

“Memory of a Sapphire” has that thump-thump of the kick drum to get you all riled up for what’s coming next, and the hook will stick in your brain for hours if not days. Shifting gears a bit, “Not My God” isn’t exactly a ballad, but it still dips its toe in those waters. Federoff does a back and forth duet with world-renowned vocalist Apollo Papathanesio (ex-FIREWIND, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS) and quite frankly it’s one of the album’s best and most impactful songs. “Captor and the Captive” balances the heavy and catchy perfectly, while the acoustic and medieval-flavored “Velvet Road” shows off a more poignant and wistful side of the band’s music.

To close out the journey “Healer of Hatred” pulls out all the stops. You’ve got your heavy riffs, your symphonic elements, your amazing vocals, and your big hooks, all rolled up into one hell of a statement, and that statement is this: “You better sit up and take notice because we’re comin’. And we’re not gonna stop comin’ till you give us what we want.” INSATIA is without a doubt hell-bent on world domination when it comes to their particular brand of metal. Anyone who may have passed on this band before should be fired. But that really doesn’t matter. As long as they keep writing albums like Phoenix Aflame there’s nothing out there that can stop them. And you can take that to the bank.


RATING: 9.5/10

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