Genre: Black Metal
Label: Art of Propaganda
The French Extreme Metal underground scene has always been a great provider of phenomenal bands that have left or will leave their significant mark upon the worldwide map of music industry. Insane Vesper is a brilliant example of the aforementioned statement. Fifteen years after their formation, the Black Metal act Insane Vesper has returned with its brand new full length record, entitled “Layil” (“Layil” stands for “night” in Hebrew, based on a brief search I conducted).
What anyone can notice right from the start is that unusual, yet utterly captivating, kind of passion that’s not only evident through the singer’s outstanding performance, but it’s also felt via the band’s music and gradual escalation of intensity as the album progresses. Since we’re talking about first impressions, I should mention at this point that the first thing that caught my eye and created an eagerness to dwell into “Layil” is the insane, yet fascinating cover artwork. Not only are the details elaborate, the whole conception is great. It could easily be used as a poster for an obscure b-movie, or at least become a poster for the living room of a music junkie.
Moving to the music stuff, I guess “Layil” is based on classic Scandinavian influences, though if you pay close attention and have an imaginative mind – hope this won’t sound absurd – you may find some East European elements as well, mostly from the Polish and Greek Black Metal movement. Insane Vesper once again have managed to deliver aggressive compositions that trigger violent feelings. The guitar work is firm and well – crafted and offers riffs that can actually haunt you for quite some time. Good thing is that guitars and bass are embraced by adventurous drumming that spices things up, as the patterns are intelligent and escape the norm. No song is shorter than 5 minutes, although that doesn’t mean a thing, as “Layil” offers a unique, fulfilling experience. Generally, Insane Vesper’s music feels a bit more theatrical, more dramatic than usual, contradicting the average Black Metal efforts of the scene. The energy emitted is pitch black and I guess that’s because a certain element is featured here. There’s a certain ambience attached to the album’s tracks, making the record even darker than it appears to be. The atmosphere built is stifling and sultry, to the point where it leaves you no air to breathe.
I should not forget to mention that I loved the multiple changes in rhythms and speeds. I was, and still am, impressed by the slower parts, when speed is taken down a notch and everything becomes more doom-ier; slow and painful.
I guess “Seed of Inanna” is the most representative track of the album, as it engulfs everything we’ve already discussed; perplexity of compositions, sheer violence, passion.
Putting everything in a nutshell, “Layil” is characterized by high levels of musicianship and offers an unparallel sum of well – crafted Black Metal that shouldn’t slip through your fingers.
“Layil” comes in CD, Vinyl and Digital format. I’ve obtained the 4-panel digipak, which came along with a 12-page booklet. A release you shouldn’t miss.