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Intense - As Our Army Grows

Published April 06 2007

=Staff's pick

Anger Of The Ancients
Mirror Shroud*
Our Last Hope*
You Die Today
Insanity's Call*
Fear Is Not Enough
Chronicles Of The New Flesh Trilogy:*
Part 1: Trojan Transmission
Part 2: Strange New World
Part 3: Long Live The New Flesh

Genre Power/Thrash Metal
Sean Hetherington
Tracks 10
Nick Palmer
Runningtime 57 Min.
Dave Peak
Label Napalm Records
Stephen Brine
Release 30 March 2007
Neil Ablard
Country England
Similar artists Iced Earth, Evergrey, Blaze Bailey

Intense - an expression of anger as art, raging violence, and fear of the unknown. The dictionary defines intense as being extreme in degree,or that which is excessive. Thus, it seems like this new UK band, eager, ardent, and earnest in their intent and intensity have named themselves accordingly.

Iintense are a relatively new act of determined like-minded musicians who are passionately earning a fortuitous following. Their 2004 full length - Second Sight - was released by Italy's Underground Symphony label. Now they are signed to Napalm meting out their sophomore effort: As Our Army Grows.

Intense edification and poignant tension narrate this devoted band's intent. They appreciate early 90's era American metal, and perform in a manner which emulates their idols; especially Iced Earth. Vocalist Sean Hetherington, who was not content with performing in an updated style metalcore motif; offers his own British tedium with an awesome homage paid to Matt Barlow. He also has that Blaze Bailey determination. The earthshattering triple threat guitar arrangements seriously strive to abide by the Iced Earth tone, with hints of early Nevermore. Most notably the Dark Saga aggregates as the primary source; although Something Wicked comes to mind as well.

Intense enlisted the talent of Threshold by having creative input provided by Karl Groom and Richard West. This empowers the production, thereby allowing the album to resonate with a slight progressive edge; which will appeal to fans of Evergrey, Serenity, and Symphony X. The cover artwork is painted by Mattias Noren, which is most beneficial.

Intense; therefore, is more of the same; yet still somewhat original. You may ponder and ask yourself whether to buy or deny. This quandary is understood, given the surmounting availability and abundance of quality metal manufactured in mass. Honestly I sympathize with this concern. I too feel that there has been a recent onslaught of copycats and clones inundating the market, as of late. Then, I recall how almost 20 ago I shared the same sentiments about Iced Earth. I thought to myself , "why should I bother buying this new band, when I can just as well play my Maiden and Metallica tapes?". Had I maintained this attitude, I might never have discovered the works of Iced Earth; not to mention those artists who would also be influenced by such glorious spent offerings.

Intense offer quality metal - fleshed out, with bone crunching wreckage of riffage; and enraging transmissions - which will satiate one's powerthrashing lust. This all begins with Anger of the Ancients seeing these agents of stealth tormenting and taunting. Then, the upshot elliptic and apocalyptic - Our Last Hope - truly demonstrates their talent by sinking in the talons and piercing with their prophetic cry of victory ringing in my ears.

Intense - with their strange new words chosen to serve as lyrics for such epics as Mirror Shroud and Insanity's Call - drum memorable melodies into my mettle heart. Fear Is Not Enough is a noble choice for the video single. Temptress passes all expectations with an inclusion of female vocal parts sung. Keyboards are used in moderation, and with subtle effect. Intense will bring a keyboardist with them on tour to enhance the haunting guise.

Intense finally create their own chromatic trilogy - Chronicles Of The New Flesh. This song in three parts shreds and serves as the mirror message elucidated by writers like Aldous Huxley or George Orwell. An existential world view elicits a themed profanation, overlined by power and corruption of lives being ruled by new order. In the not so distant future, the media controls the masses and the television's news flash becomes the news flesh. Hear the screen of vengeance echo this scenario of violence and insanity; culminating in a retrospective reality of: intense calumniation and dystopia. An undertaking as such, although merely fiction, perforce, portrays and pesonifies modern society and her perverse insidious decay from within.

Intense - your last hope? One hardly would assume; however, the choice to purchase or pass ultimately lies in your blood and belief. I'm grateful that I played the CD, when I almost opted not to do so. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to write this review and share my sincerity - long live all that is Intense!








7,5 chalices of 10 - Michael the MettleAngel

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