There are clever bands and bands with a lot of foresight. There are bands who try to push their compositions to the limits of recognizable forms. There are even bands who try to make their production so incredibly harsh that it can be physically painful to listen to their albums, while others try to disinfect their sound to such a degree that you’d swear they plan to eat off it. As much as critics, myself included, fall over themselves to praise bands who push perceived boundaries or lean into idiocrasies, at the end of the day all we really want is to hear some good music. And sounding like you enjoy what you’re playing is an excellent place to start. It also helps if you’re good at writing songs and playing your instruments. In all of these respects, Chile’s speed metal revivalists Insight are the total package: They’re good at what they do. They sound good doing it. And they are clearly having a blast!
Neura is Insight’s debut EP and sees the band writing the first chapter of their career in a dialect familiar to fans of Battalions of Fear era Blind Guardian and early Helloween, drafted with the raw evil energy of Merciful Fate. When vocalist Daniel Poblete let’s lose his inner harpy eagle bellow, it could shatter stage lights two counties over. His Bruce Dickinson impression is pitch-perfect on tracks like the diesel-fueled squeal and peel “El Grito del Silencio” and “Hijos del Miedo.” The latter of which is a mid-album highlight due to the cloud scrapping heights Poblete is able to reach with his cries, and the spellbinding, moody grooves guitarist Javier Salgado, drummer Christian Leon, and bassist Leslie Jimenez are able to weave tightly amongst their respective contributions, forming a brush with which to paint a sonic portrait of mortals crossing swords in heroic conflict against demonic forces, creatures owe their loathsome origin as much to hell as the human psyche.
This epic mood carries over to several tracks on the Neura, such as the hooky, locked groove, blues-born barbarian “Este donde Este,” which feels and sounds like Kill Em All era Metallica possessed by Blue Oyster Cult’ and bent to their esoteric will. “Tempestad” will give you a decent dose of Blind Guardian’s grand guitar lashes and heroic marshal charge, while “Alter Ego” serves up some dastardly leads alongside a spiteful, restless groove.
If you’re looking for some pure, no-frills, no fucking around heavy metal to slice through the doldrums of your day, then Insight happy to oblige.