Insense: Soothing torture

MIC's Listen to Norway series continues with Insense's 'Soothing torture'

Insense: Soothing Torture (cover)

Few would dispute Norway’s reputation as a major contributor to extreme metal, yet the genre most associated with Norway, black metal, is no longer the novel force it once was, and perhaps the whole domestic scene has staled somewhat. This seems, at least, to be the opinion of Oslo-based metal juggernaut Insense.

With their second album, “Soothing torture”, they claim nothing less than to be initiating the “new wave of Norwegian metal”.

In their own words the album constitutes “the epitome of cold, aggressive and extreme”.

Attempting to categorize Insense by means of established labels, they can perhaps be called a blend of death, thrash and hardcore. Bands they have been compared with are Panthera, Sepultura and their contemporaries in Slipknot.
In a way the new wave of Norwegian metal is just as much a reply to the American version of new wave as to Norwegian metal, and the mentality in the music can perhaps best be found in some of these American bands.
The music itself is based on riffs of the ultimate gauge, executed with absolute rhythmical precision and generally impressive technicality. This “machine” is the electrically grinding ground for melodies that vary greatly in mood and form.
And perhaps it is precisely the relative emphasis on melodic aspects and transparent musicality that marks the novelty of this record.

Critics have taken to it wholeheartedly, and seemingly with accept for the somewhat grand claims put forward. Most reviews agree that there is something of great value achieved when Insense combine their awesome machine with a musicality that emerges from the aggression, thus creating greater dimensionality than most music in this genre.

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