Ibex Moon Records
May 25th, 2010
Release length: 48:11
There’s a lot on this release to get excited about, as much of this release is well done raw and uncompromising Death Metal. However, one of the best aspects of this release would have to be the quality of the recording, especially with the drumming. The bass kicks are what will really stand out the most with the music of Haven for the Insane, and it’s really hard to explain them. The kicks are more in the background of the music, while the cymbols and snares are loud enough that they come through in the recording clearly. There’s no real click to the bass kicks, and they aren’t muffled. They produce a rather odd noise that is just loud enough to be heard. The best way to describe the sound would be to say it’s almost as if someone were tapping drum sticks around blocks of wood, but even that description doesn’t really describe it. All you need to know is that, given the lyrical content and raw production quality, it sounds amazing with the album and works with the dark feeling that many of these songs have, such as “Embrace the Aftermath”.
Much of the album has a very dark quality to it, mostly thanks to the rather raw quality enhancing the music being played. The vocals here are absolutely phenomenal and are very impressive, as well as have a nice range to them as far as how deep or rhaspy they can be throughout the album. This would more then likely have to do with the fact that every member of the band does perform vocal duties. The only time things really seem to branch away from the grim sound is when you hit “Twitching at the Noose”. This song’s quality actually just sounds a little different compared to the rest, almost louder and a little clearer then anything before it. After that you have the song “Rage on… Fuck Off” which is just a straight forward old school Death Metal song that was clearly composed more as a track for moshing, but it seems to deter the flow of the album somewhat with it’s more Thrash aspects such as the gang shouting. Another thing you will notice with this track is that there seems to be more distortion on the guitars, almost as if the volume of it was podded up moreso then on the previous songs, but just enough that you could notice a slight change.
Outside that, there’s nothing negative to be said about this album. Haven for the Insane is just loaded with great songs, and even though “Twitching at the Noose” and “Rage on… Fuck Off” sound a bit different, they are still highly enjoyable. Cardiac Arrest manage to really make their music diverse on this release, having blisteringly fast tracks that seem to show off a slight Thrash influence, such as mentioned with “Rage on… Fuck Off”, but also with the start of “Extinction Endured”. However, that’s just for a few of the songs on here. Pretty much what this album has in store is just straight forward Death Metal at it’s finest, like “Unearthly Pleasures”, which is a fantastic Death Metal track with a lot of energy behind it and a fantastic guitar solo, all of which making this track unique amongst the other eleven songs on the release. Of course, “The Blade That Reaps” has to be mentioned because it’s the most brutal, in your face song on the release that you simply cannot ignore while it’s playing, even if you tried. Among all the powerful tracks on this release, however, hides a gem of a track with “Embrace the Aftermath”, which is the slowest track you’ll find on this release with it’s brutal sound thanks to the guitar work, and the fact that it is rich in a nightmare-like atmosphere. This is also the song that the aforementioned bass drum sound becomes more prominant and shows how important it is to the release.
Haven for the Insane is simply an amazing Death Metal release that is everything a fan of the style could want. It’s heavy, the band pulls off a great performance that has plenty of energy and is more professional then some of today’s more recognized newer Death Metal acts, and it had a great amount of variety to the mix that ensures a good emount of repeat spins every chance you get. While this release doesn’t raise the bar for the style by any means, it does show that there are bands out there not afraid to write great Death Metal music without requiring gimmicks or experimentation, leaving Haven for the Insane as a breath of fresh air in the now cluttered style.
01. Insanity’s Grip – 2:50
02. Mind and Body Deteriorated – 3:12
03. Against their Will – 4:08
04. Paralyzed with Fear – 0:59
05. Haunted Remnants – 2:57
06. Embrace the Aftermath – 5:08
07. Twitching at the Noose – 3:52
08. Rage on… Fuck Off – 2:13
09. Extinction Endured – 3:55
10. Affliction of the Beast – 5:01
11. Unearthly Pleasures – 4:49
12. The Blade That Reaps – 9:03
|Overall Score: 8.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Ibex Moon Records via Clawhammer PR.