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Is there such thing as too triggered? - 66%

MikeyC, December 22nd, 2008

Recently, I’ve become a big fan of industrial death metal, with The Berzerker, Whourkr, and The Amenta (only their latest) rising in play count. The UK band Insidious are another group of industrialised metalheads poking their digital noses through the crowd. It’s easy to see that they’re a good bunch of musicians, however, put it down to their youth or whatever, but there are some problems that do arise.

First, we’ll start with the good: The music is pretty punishing, so bonus points for that. Some of the guitar riffs are quite catchy, too, for example the one that opens “Subsevience”…however it doesn’t last very long. The bass guitar has some nice parts, which can be heard clearly, like at :18 on the title track, and at the beginning of the “Slave To The System”. It has a very twangy sound, and the bassist sounds like he utilises the higher strings, however I’m not a bassist, and it could be the production making it sound that way. The drumming, assuming it’s not a machine, is very good. It might actually be a drum machine, but I don’t know for sure. The album art is very engaging, also (yes, this is still important!). The actual CD is black on the underside, which just makes it look cool, for lack of a better term.

Now, some of the bad makes this less enjoyable than what it should. First off would be the vocals. While they’re not bad in any sense, they’re not your usual sound, and to the newcomer, they can be quite off-putting, which even I can agree with. The vocalist with the higher shriek is perhaps the worst of the two, but it’s just a good thing that I can handle it. Another problem is the songwriting. Again, it’s not bad, but some parts feel random. The track “Blood Harvest”, which is the longest song on here, is a completely digitalised track. While listenable, it’s very disappointing, mainly because it is a little repetitive for its length. I would’ve liked to hear more variation in this song.

Now, some people will know that I am very indifferent to triggered music. It’s a part of music these days and I think it’s fine. However, Digital Disdain is triggered to Hell and back…in fact, it just might be one of the few albums where it’s just too triggered. Everything sounds like it’s been through a sterilising process, and it’s squeaky clean. I can appreciate that it’s in line with the digital themes the band convey, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the production sounds very rigid; like there’s simply no room to move.

With a running time of 23 minutes, how this release can be considered a full-length is beyond me, but there’s some good to be had in here, and the short span of Digital Disdain just might be more helpful than it seems. There is a lot of potential for Insidious, and I would like to see it on their next album. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but maybe a WORSE production could do some good? Just some food for thought…or, should I say, food for your CPU.

Best tracks: Charges Of Disgust, Digital Disdain, Slave To The System