Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2022
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Insania > World of Ice > Reviews
Insania - World of Ice

Pretty Cool - 85%

Jiggleslinky, September 1st, 2014

World of Ice, to me, is an album that defies everything I know about what is good in the world. I want to hate this album, I really do, but this band is so catchy and committed to their music it's hard for me to stop listening once I begin. This album is heavily influenced by other works and overall is very generic topped off with crappy production but damn are these guys good at winning me over. I can't possibly give a bad review to a band that has me singing and humming all day. Maybe the sun reflects off their icy world and blinds me or maybe they give me brain freeze with all the sappy power metal hooks but in the end all I can say is that I enjoy this album.

Now that I got that off my chest let's get into the music shall we? If you look at the track listing your attention should be drawn immediately to one song titled "Private 6 Machine." If you didn't look this track up before listening then this song will catch completely off guard. A power metal band writing a song about fucking? Am I dreaming? Either way this is a choice I appreciate despite the cringe worthy ice puns. To my knowledge no melodic power metal bands have even attempted a song like this so kudos to these guys for writing this in 1999. Anyway the song is super fast and pretty good musically and catchy as fuck. Even the chorus with all that "rolling around in that bed full of sweat" is dangerously addicting... like ice cream.

The other songs aren't completely devoid of creativity, that one just stands out so much it makes the others look awful in comparison. Which they aren't. After an organ intro (again playing to my weakness... I love organ) we get a speedy opener that's pretty generic and probably one of the worst tracks here though I do enjoy the catchy keyboard solo. The next track Fire has a great solo and bass/rhythm section in the middle though the last minute is devoted the most cringe worthy synth orchestra ending I've ever heard. It's not bad it just grates on my ears after a few seconds and makes me wish they would just end the song. Next we have a march styled song about William Wallace... interesting choice. Once again it's catchy and the solo is awesome. The song Paradisia is mid tempo and leads very well into the title track which is also pretty good. I end up singing the chorus a lot on the title track. The album closes with a fast and furious Furious Seas and an even faster feel good closer in Carried by Wings both good songs with Insania's thrashy side coming out in the former (something we'll never see again).

Then we have a pair of ballads... oh boy. I'm not a ballad person, never have never will. I like fast music that's just how I work. These ballads aren't bad but two quite long ones bore me after a while. It would be worse but the first one is titled "Forever Alone." These guys must be prophets because any internet savvy person can tell you what that means. It seems particularly bad for us metalheads too. This song just speaks to me and I chuckle to myself every time because it's so true it hurts. The second ballad is kind of just there. It doesn't help or hurt the album it just makes it 5 minutes longer.

So between the bad synth, ice puns that make you wish you were reading Dr. Seuss, and the uncomfortable songs about nobody caring about you and about some other guy having hot sex it might be hard to see why I like this album so much. But that's just it. This album makes you feel something. A lot of albums just go in one ear and out the other but this one sticks like a wet snowfall. Now that I look at it critically this album is anything but generic. It's actually really creative and well done. I can tell these musicians put a lot in effort into their music despite the production value and lyrics trying to tell me otherwise. I highly recommend this album. It's not the best but I still recommend it because I have yet to find a release that is as intriguing as Insania Stockholm's first.

Derivative and dated, but surprisingly decent - 80%

TheForgotton, September 15th, 2005

Mysterious hooded figure on cover art? Check. :Part One in the album title? Check. One minute instrumental keyboard introduction, starting with the letter I and ending in the letter N? Doublecheck. It turns out that the only thing noticeably absent on Insania's World of Ice: Part 1 is a giant pumpkin. So what if the Stockholm sextet's debut sounds a lot like Keeper of the Seven Keys, there are a lot of worse albums out there to emulate.

I was surprised to see that the album was recorded in 1998, as World of Ice sounds like it could have come out in ' 88. Insania makes good use of its two guitarists with several harmony passages throughout. Though not very impressive technically, the band chooses memorable melodies over fret-burning guitar wanking. There is quite a bit of classical influence on this album, and on the title track, they come within a hair's breadth of what I like to call the Spinal Tap Classical Beatdown. Lead singer David Henricksson's vocals are high but not uncomfortably so, and pleasantly devoid of the histrionic vibrato that most European singers do to death. Keyboards are used mostly as pads on the slower numbers, but there are occasions like the end of Fire when a crappy synth patch overwhelms the listener.

I can't say that World of Ice is without cheese, but you might be better off if you don't pay attention to the lyrics. There is enough "marching hand in hand" and "singing tunes of happyness(sic)" on the third track that one could get the wrong idea, not to mention all the rainbows on Carried by Wings. There are a pair of power ballads on this record with more sap than a mighty maple, either of which could probably give Kip Winger a toothache. I'm not sure if it was intended as a joke, or that they were Bowdlerized by their distribution, but the awkwardly raunchy Private Sex-Machine is labeled on the CD booklet as Private 6-machine.

Is Insania's World of Ice a groundbreaking tour de force of originality and technical fireworks? No, but one could do a lot worse, especially for a first album. What I like about this album is that they can do power metal without overplaying, without trying to flash and dazzle listener with million-note solos to overcompensate for half-assed songwriting.

Tracks to blast: Fire, Private Sex-machine, Furious Seas, Fighting My Tears.

Tracks to skip: Insaniation, Forever Alone, Forever Is a Long Time.

Solid, generic, but solid - 63%

OlympicSharpshooter, July 17th, 2004

Now, I don't claim to be some sort of power metal almanac, but I've heard enough to get the gist of it, to know how things generally work in the genre of swords, sorcery, and Malmsteen fan clubs. I preface this review with that little blurb to cover my own ass if I make some statement too sweeping, or give credit to the wrong artist for inspiring the album at hand.

Insania, the Stockholm version to differentiate from the harsh German act with whom they share the moniker, is basically your mean median average virtuosic power metal band, a definite smell of Helloween, a touch of Rhapsody (albeit very toned down). The majority of these songs are very same-y, but the quick fingers of the three guitarists and a supply of nice riffs balance out the mediocrity.

On vocals is David Henrikson, a talented but unremarkable singer who has the advantage of a fairly flexible set of pipes. Towards the beginning of the album he comes off as somewhat limited, one of those melodic but less than forceful frontmen you get on occasion, but he gradually develops into a good, if not top flight, singer through the middle of the record. He capably apes Dickinson's high notes on the later portions of "Forever Alone" and shows considerable strength and vigour on songs like "Paradisia" and "World of Ice", on the former even showing some rare (for power metal) edge with a nice raw shriek. He has an accent, but it only comes out on the more melodic tracks like the aforementioned "Forever Alone" and "Private Sexmachine".

Songwriting rise it's generic as hell, save for perhaps a little more melancholy here and there. There's the obligatory historical song, "With Courage and Pride" which is about William Wallace, and covers the same territory as Iron Maiden's "The Clansman" but with more energy and less scope. "Forever is a Long Time" is a really generic power ballad, the keyboard soaked intro provoking memories of the 80's and more specifically Bryan Adams. Thankfully it gets to the metallic territory quickly with suitably overdone solos and whatnot. "World of Ice" is a good enough song, but the lame ice/isolation metaphore is blatantly ripped off of Metallica's "Trapped Under Ice". "Private Sex Machine" on the other hand, is just bizarre, proof positive that power metal is not suitable to songs about fucking. The euphemisms regarding snow are just laughable (lots of melting), and any eroticism these lyrics had were excised in translation:

"This is a game I'll never spoil
Play with my engine and taste my oil
If you have the guts"

Furthermore the drumming on this album is for the most part horribly lame, either tapping out a lazy half-thrash rhythm or battering on the double bass for no good reason. Really, if you've heard any power metal at all this is a sin you'll be more than familiar with, so this album can't be blamed specifically. The instrumental "Insaniation" intro is pure classical cheese though, a Rhapsody me-too that doesn't add anything except bad memories of Aesma Daeva. Furthermore the keyboards insists on breaking out the Bach early in the record, the tinkling baroque piano giving it a funny renaissance fair feel.

However, this is a pretty good album. Even the wretched "Private Sexmachine" has a pretty wicked break, and every song is filled to the brim with mad solos and guitar duels, particularly with three guitars and a keyboard player getting in on the action. An avoidance of traditional booming backing vocals give a huge boost as well as even the anthemic choruses come across as possessing a little subtlety. From a riffing stand-point roughly half of this stuff is really inoffensive and patently unrocking power metal, but when the band tightens up and puts a little bite on these compressed and sped up thrash riffs it really makes a huge improvement. "Furious Seas" is an intense shred-fest that grows more and more frantic as it goes on, eventually even pulling some jumpy Metallica-style (particularly the more busy Justice-era stuff) riffing for a brief time on the outro. The verses on songs like "Fire" and "Forever is a Long Time" share this characteristic although both degenerate into saccharine silliness soon enough.

The best songs on here are really the more slowed down numbers, in particular the crunchy "Paradisia" being the spiritual twin to Dissection (!) classic "Where Dead Angels Lie", the same crisp riff, a definite similarity in the melody and cadence, "Paradisia" also being blessed with restrained and extremely strong performances from all the players. It definitely breathes, and you get a power and force that is found nowhere else on the album, drums locked down, singer aggressive, guitars afire with hot solos.

Power metal is often a bitter pill because it often lacks heart and strength despite the focus of its lyrics, but Insania's debut is a solid spin that is certainly worth a look if you see it for a reasonable price. It won't change the world, or even impact it, but this is a release where the good definitely outweighs the bad.

Stand Outs: "Paradisia", "Furious Seas", "World of Ice"