There’s been some fantastic hardcore this year, and it only continues with this band. Maryland’s Insane Power, though new to the scene, showcases a hardcore style with very minor influence from thrash, but is most assuredly HC of the highest kind. It’s noisy, angry, and just fucking brutal in all the right places.
If you want a better description, Insane Power lies somewhere in between the fast-paced, noise-ridden chaos of Converge and the (relatively) steady tempo beatdowns of Great American Ghost; there’s a lot of each sound present in the band’s music, but this is no ripoff; Insane Power stands in a nice little niche all their own.
What makes Insane Power really stick out (for me, at least), is their songwriting. The six tracks of their debut EP, Construct, retain both a cohesiveness and an individuality. Each song has its own distinct flavor without feeling too apart from the rest of the track listing. For example, “Internecine Calm” has this pummeling, beatdown riff, and stays at a steady, tank-crawl tempo during its two-and-a-half minute runtime, while “Zugzwang” screams thrash—lots of fast tempo riffage, but cuts into an awesome breakdown in the middle, only to come back with a blistering solo. “Disposable Soma, As Clear As Color” starts off with this absolutely batshit crazy riff that you just need to bang your head to.
The band’s lyrics caught me pretty early on as well; there’s a cool amount of poeticism in the lyrics in Construct, and since you can hear the vocalist relatively clearly, it actually adds a whole new layer of depth to the music. Take the first section or so of the opening track “No Embers”:
Conscious I come to the stream that I’ve been dreading
A crooked flow that follows into the empty cavern
There is no arsenal. There is no sustenance. There is no flattened space. There are no limbs to watch.
Just a lightless tomb clawed into the land.
Although abstract and highly debatable in meaning, the word choice is undeniably beautiful despite its dark imagery, which hearkens back to that Converge influence I mentioned up above.
Let’s be fair, though; Insane Power isn’t reinventing the hardcore wheel, but that’s okay; they’ve found a sound and a sense of artistry that nonetheless singles them out. If you want some solid hardcore with some interesting lyrics, and stellar songwriting, definitely consider giving Insane Power a try.