Insurrection – Extraction Review

Band: Insurrection
Album: Extraction
Label: Galy Records
Genre: Technical Death Metal
Country: Canada
Release Date: 6 October 2017

Technical death metal is not exactly a genre that has had a lot of exposure over the years. While there has been more hype around certain bands like Necrophagist, The Faceless, Suffocation or Spawn of Possession, it is a genre that has spawned very little commercial success. I mean are we surprised? Complex musical patterns that constantly shift, harsh disturbing vocals and a shed load of blast beats are hardly what you might call mainstream. But while the majority of people ignore one of the finest genres metal has to offer, it really is a genre that deserves more respect.

Take Insurrection for example. The band was formed in 2003 in Gatineau, Quebec by vocalist Stéphane Jomphe, guitarists Martin Samson and Beav (only known name), bassist Frank (again, only known name) and drummer Philipe Moreau-Latreille. After releasing their first demo in 2003, the band has gone on to release another demo and 3 full length albums since their inception. Now the band is gearing up to release their 4th album that comes in the form of “Extraction”, a mammoth sounding tech death record that is sure to make waves within the scene. This album was produced by Pierre Rémillard at Wild Studio (Cryptopsy, Obliveon, Anonymus, Voivod, Krisiun, Ghoulunatics, Despised Icon, Beneath the Massacre, Gorguts, Martyr) and features guest vocals from Bruno Bernier (Obliveon) on Data Extracted.

Now the opening track “System Failure” sounds exactly like that. A tidal wave of double bass pedals, tremolo riffing and some of the most aggressive vocals I’ve heard in a long time from lead singer Stéphane Jomphe. This band is not one that messes around when it comes to being heavy. After a complex and chaotic introduction, we are led into a breakdown (of sorts) which for a death metal band works surprisingly well. The track goes on to pummel us with more intense riffing, blast beats and hefty growls. One thing that strikes me immediately with this band is how tight the instrumentation is, and how well the members sound playing together as a unit. I’ve heard and seen several bands over the years that just don’t seem to connect, but Insurrection are not one of them.

Our next track “Onward to Extinction” sounds exactly like that, a death march towards the inevitable end. Tremolo riffs strike again, with the drums and bass mapping out a hefty marching rhythm to accompany the main motif. I do have to say that some of the drum patterns and fills are absolutely ferocious when compared to most death metal drumming. It’s fun to see another drummer follow the steps of others such as Shannon Lucas (ex-Black Dahlia Murder) or Ken Bedene (Aborted) and get a bit creative with their drumming. Once again, we are treated to the pummelling double bass of drummer Philipe Moreau-Latreille, accompanied by vocalist Jomphe using his high shrieks to bring some variety to the table. The outro for this track is also interesting as a higher melody created through several chord progressions is brought in, maybe to just make it stand out from the rest of the track, or simply just to add another layer of sound into the mix. Either way, it works.

“Pull the Plug” takes on a slightly different vibe to the previous two tracks. While before we have been absolutely pummelled with non-stop ferocity, this track takes the tempo back a notch, and gives off more of a straight death metal vibe, with maybe even a hint of beatdown (which is great for me, who loves both old school death metal and beatdown). After grooving their way through the introduction, Insurrection starts to introduce little flares of creativity that keep things interesting, like their use of pinch harmonics on the guitars and the layered vocal works that make it sound like Satan himself is singing. This is definitely a track I would want to fling my hair around to if I was watching them live, and to be honest, I want to start headbanging just sitting here at my laptop right now.

The next two tracks on the album “Le Prix A Payer” and “The Eulogy of Hatred” bring the pace back up, with “Le Prix” giving off more a thrash/death metal crossover, which is interesting to hear. “Eulogy of Hatred” is by far the superior track here, as the flow of instrumentation and vocal work just hits the nail right into the sweet spot for any death metal junkie, with blast beats and death growls galore. The band’s use of syncopated rhythms on “Parasite” are also used really well, with the drum pattern really accentuating the heavy pounding rhythm of the guitars.

The next 3 tracks on the album, “Le Pesant D’Or”, “Misere Noire” and “Assassins” all seem to blend into one, which is the only real bad thing I have to say about this album. They all seem to follow similar structures and don’t really develop the album in any way, which is a shame because when you’re running up to the end of an album, you want to keep that momentum going rather than let it carry on the same straight line. Regardless of this, these 3 tracks are still solid and don’t drop in quality at all. It’s just a shame that they all sound so similar.

Now the final track entitled “Data Extracted…End Transmission” is really the icing on this glorious tech death cake. This song takes everything that was done well throughout the album and combines it into one monster track, which I think is the best way to finish any album. Go out with a bang, not with a whimper. The instruments sound tight as hell, the vocals are absolutely punishing, and the melodies from the guitars lift this track to a whole new level (OF CONFIDENCE AND POWER). Seriously, go and get this record, you will not regret it. It is a relentless and pummelling slice of tech death that will leave you wanting more. Much more.

Rating: 8.5/10

1. System Failure
2. Onward to Extinction
3. Pull the Plug
4. Le Prix A Payer
5. The Eulogy of Hatred
6. Parasite
7. Le Pesant D’Or
8. Misere Noire
9. Assassins
10. Data Extracted…End Transmission

Total Playing Time: 38:32

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