Wait And Pray
(Battle Cry Records)
I discovered this band purely by accident. It happened that on a No Colours Records sampler was featured one track of a band called SLAVES, which blew me away because of its genuine 80s Thrash atmosphere, very reminiscent of INFERNAL MAJESTY. My first investigation lead me to a dead end, until a review of the Keep It True IV festival made me see the light, referring to the Italian band INSANE as formerly known as SLAVES. In no time, the INSANE record was mine. Well, the layout tells a lot about the content. The INSANE logo is written with the SLAYER logo fonts, a cheap horned monster adorns the cover, and the musicians' pictures on the back have the same charm and hilarious value of what you can find on the back cover of "Show No Mercy": same eyeliner and spikes! I knew at once that this Italian three piece was something special. Well, I was yet lead to revise my first judgement, because the music on offer, as good as it is actually, could disappoint in the long run. Of course, the first song causes a serious headbanging session, but once the initial jolt had made its effect, you are left with seven other songs tailored on the same frame. Don't get me wrong, "Wait And Pray" is a damn good release, but I think INSANE missed the point here by not allowing themselves to introduce some variations within their compositions; this is precisely variations and rhythm contrasts that made "Hell Awaits" and "None Shall Defy" so interesting and still fresh today. The production duties were held in Vancouver, and the sound on "Wait and Pray", while not being "retro" (because of its great and modern dynamic), evokes the old times OK. The musicians are faultless on this, and perfectly master their instrument. Bassist / vocalist Dan Montironi shamelessly borrows the (early) Tom Araya style, but here stops the comparisons with SLAYER musically. One has to look rather at lesser known acts like BLESSED DEATH and ANVIL BITCH to find an equivalent to INSANE. On the contrary, INSANE lyrical "inspiration" comes directly from legendary bands as POSSESSED (they even have a song called 'The Exorcist', not a cover though), SLAYER (again) and NASTY SAVAGE. My advice to the band: they should concentrate next time on the crafting of a more varied selection of songs, because they can't rely very long on their pseudo - SLAYER image. I am pretty sure they can offer a real masterpiece; it is not yet the case with "Wait And Pray". And yes, I prefer the one and only SLAVES track I heard, sorry!