Insatia delivers a majestic follow-up featuring Western power metal at its finest
Review by Cheyenne Noelle
Hailing from Canada and the United States, Insatia produces their second album to date, Phoenix Aflame. From the opening intro on the release, “Land of the Living”, I’m greeted with a soft and ethereal voice, totally making my arm hair stand up. I cannot tell if I love the eerie longing in Zoë Federoff’s voice more or the majestic mood she creates for the rest of the set. Immediately I know whatever happens next is going to be quite the story.
And such a story is told. Following in sequential order comes the strong, yet sweetly feminine charm in Zoë’s voice. She sweeps you away with “Act of Mercy”, a power ballad with the perfect combination of valor and woe. We don’t hear anything overly heavy or guttural in Phoenix Aflame, in contrast to tracks on their first release, Asylum Denied. Lyrically, Phoenix Aflame is 100% a tale of fallen love. After listening to “Memory of a Sapphire” a few times and checking out the accompanying music video, I can see the passion all over Zoë’s face. Grasping for some understanding. Despite the rest of the album being generally upbeat in sound, my favorite track of all is the slower yet electrifying “Not My God”. The duet in that song sent actual chills down my back; I mean, there was so much expression, almost desperation, clawing at one another for answers. If wordplay and storytelling was what Insatia wanted to portray heavily this go-round, Phoenix Aflame hits home hard!
Production-wise, this album is a success. The overall mastering of each track is well-hung to highlight the roaring riffs and magnificent chord progression you are sure to hear throughout the set list. I definitely didn’t feel sold short of any power metal vibes, but I was pleasantly surprised at the variety in this release. “Velvet Road” has to be the most gentle creature in all of symphonic metal’s beastly tracks. I mean, the lead singer literally sounds like a princess, with softened poetry that creates a one-of-a-kind serenade.
For fans new and old, Phoenix Aflame is a beautiful and powerful addition to the world of power metal. Insatia concludes its victory of an album with a slightly more aggressive piece titled “My Healer of Hatred”, finishing strong with double bass drum patterns and a terrific guitar solo. With a solid list of powerful songs and an overall strong deliverance, I expect this Phoenix Aflame to be nothing less than heaven to your metal-loving ears.