Insanity Alert – Insanity Alert (2014) Review

3.5/5

Skulls

Artist Insanity Alert Album Insanity Alert Year Released: 18 October 2014
Label Empire Records Genre Thrash Metal | Hardcore

This band from Innsbruck, Austria, Insanity Alert, dropped their debut self-titled full-length album in our inbox. After a couple of playthroughs of the album, we’re left floored and a little speechless, but we’ll do our best to give it the proper Yell! treatment.

First and foremost, Insanity Alert is out to have fun, or at the very least listening to them is fun. If the album cover doesn’t tell you anything, a quick preview of song titles like “The Claw (Of All That Is Evil),” “Zongo vs. Eyeball,” “Macaroni Maniac,” “F.U.N.,” and, last but not least, “Crucified by Zombies” will give you an idea of the fun these guys are having.

Then there’s the fact that Insanity Alert are playing into the old-school heavy metal tropes of metal (“Glorious Thrash”), parties (“Weedgrinder,” “Twist-Off Betrayal”), horror (“Crucified by Zombies”), evil (“The Claw – Of All That Is Evil,” “Mankind Eraser – Must Destroy All”), and war (“Shell-Shocked”).

Insanity Alert is unquestionably thrash metal, but they’re not of the Metallica, Megadeth, Overkill, Exodus ilk. These guys are more inline with old-school Anthrax and Suicidal Tendencies. Yes, there’s the hardcore punk element here; for examples, check out “Zong vs. Eyeball,” “Blunt In-Blunt Out,” “F.U.N.,” “Crucified by Zombies,” “Shit for Brains,” and “Twist-Off Betrayal.” The punk influence can also be felt by each song’s brevity — not a single song clocks in over 3:28!

The album kicks off with vocalist Heavy Kevy delivering a vicious heavy metal war cry, “Glorious we’ll rise!” to open the track “Glorious Thrash.” The track then proceeds to set the stage for what you can expect from the rest of the album — non-stop mosh-worthy thrash.

Insanity Alert has also thrown in a couple of cool song intros, like the cool demonic voice on “The Claw,” the feeding zombie sounds on “Crucified by Zombies,” the sounds of war on “Shell-Shocked,” and the humorous sounds of a troubled father on “Run to the Pit.” These rare moments (because there are 15 tracks on the album) break up the monotony of having each song begin in pretty much the exact same way — another homage to punk?

And that’s one of two negative points on this album; many of the riffs and songs song pretty much the same. Sure, there’s the odd time that the bass takes a thrashy lead, as on “Shit for Brains,” but those divergences from Insanity Alert’s focus are far and few between. The saving grace of such repetition among the songs is that they’re all so short.

The second negative point is the absence of any significant guitar solos. Sure, there’s a brief one on “Glorious Thrash” and a twin-guitar solo on “The Claw,” but that’s it until six tracks later when “Blunt In-Blunt Out” offers a blues-based solo. Instead, Insanity Alert relies, sparingly, on the riff breakdown. I think we can owe the lack of guitar solos to the fact that the songs are so short, and the fact that musicianship, although they are good, isn’t the point of this band. As said previously, Insanity Alert is out to have fun and to get you in the mosh pit.

Nothing could emphasize that last point, the band’s desire to get you in the pit, more than “Run to the Pit,” which ironically is the least thrash metal track on the album. That’s because it’s a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills,” with a twist on the lyrics. It’s a lot of fun, but it really sounds like a punk band covering metal, which is cool in my book.

The Verdict:

Insanity Alert have provided a kick-ass and fun album that’s full of your favorite thrash metal elements: great riffs, insane tempos, gruff vocals, hard-hitting skin bashing, great bass lines, and tons of headbanging opportunities. Sure there’s a general lack of variety, but there is some if you look for it. All in all, this is a party album that’s short enough to be played in its entirety at any place metalheads gather.

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