With a wall of distorted noises we are ushered into Insurrection’s Age Of Fear, the hardcore band’s second full album, thirty years in from their self-titled debut.
That thirty years saw the band split for a long while but then reform around a decade ago to play sporadic live shows both in Guernsey and the UK, as well as self releasing a three track EP.
Age Of Fear though very much gets going where the band left off getting straight to its intense and powerful point. Sonically this isn’t simply the blistering fast sound one might expect but rather brings in heavier elements, giving it an almost doom-like feel in places but remaining, in its way, dark, bleak, unremitting hardcore.
Across the record the band firmly focus on issues in a way that develops on their past concerns so they tackle environmentalism, personal freedom, the ongoing international refugee crisis and more in a way that could easily feel oppressively negative, but comes with such power and spirit that it acts more as a rallying cry than a downbeat moan.
While all the tracks on the album are strong, including the three from the MMXIII EP re-recorded with even more power, a couple stand out from the pack.
On side one (this is a vinyl only release) ‘lead single’ (if you want to call it that, it has a video) Dealers is a vicious assault on what I can only describe as industries of death, drawing apt comparisons between the drugs trade and war in a way that delves into the worst of humanity, feeling genuinely filthy but somehow being cleansing for it.
Black Dog on side two takes its aim at depression in a way that faces it head in like few others, creating something that is a refreshingly honest depiction and exploration of the condition, not asking for any sympathy but making a fierce point.
Love To Hate initially feels like it might just descend into violent nihilism but it soon becomes clear it’s using that to make a very pertinent point before How Do They Feel pulls this all together into a final blast featuring a great extra vocal performance from Chloe Ferguson that provides something different closing the album on a real strong point.
Throughout the record the band sound as powerful and intense as ever with Mark Le Page and Ian Allsopp’s vocals providing nicely contrasting growls. Then Pete Riddle’s bass and Pip Blondin’s drums provide the intense jackhammer like rhythms driving things ever forward with added grunt, fuzz and feedback from Jon Langlois’ guitar topping it all off.
This all makes Age Of Fear a punishing but rewarding record that shows, even three decades in, Insurrection are a force to be reckoned with and their fire hasn’t dimmed one bit.
Here’s the video for Dealers – warning its not for the feint of heart…