INSATIA is a female-fronted American/Canadian symphonic power-metal band founded in 2009. The band has released a self-produced debut album “Asylum Denied” in 2013 and has since then opened for multiple international acts, including Sonata Arctica and Dark Tranquility. Their sophomore effort entitled “Phoenix Aflame” sees the light of day this month and shows an evident progress in comparison with the previous material.
The visually striking cover artwork, created by talented artist Gogo Melon, pretty much reveals the obviously bombastic nature of the music, magnificently mixed with folk and symphonic elements. Led by the elevated vocals of Zoë Federoff who posses a clear and pleasant voice (which fortunately doesn’t venture into the operatic-regions) and adds a particular touch to the album’s aesthetic, throughout the 10 songs the band serves an amalgam of classic hooky metal riffs, harmonious up-tempos embellished with orchestral arrangement and wrapped by melodic synths and a solid rhythm section. Despite not breaking any new ground in terms of sonority, the songs are very well crafted and the music as a whole has a compelling atmosphere to it. Needless to say, it is the most complex and probably challenging record in the short band’s career, and they managed to deliver. Outstanding moments come in the form of the title track, which is most aggressive song on the album bordering in a thrashy sound accompanied by some deliciously catchy choruses, and followed by a 180 degrees change with the beautiful ballad “Not my God”.
Also noteworthy are the remarkable guest performances by Apollo Papathanesio (ex-Firewind, Spiritual Beggars), Chris Amott (ex-Arch Enemy, Armageddon), Christian Hermsdörfer (ex-Visions Of Atlantis, Serenity) and Erica James (The Erica James Band).
Insatia have gone all out this time around, and in a over-populated genre where many bands sound like carbon copies of others they offer their own energy-packed fresh take. If you want some catchy power-metal with high-level chops and a without any masturbatory commitment to guitar excess, be sure to check this album out.