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   INSANIA (STOCKHOLM)
Fantasy (A New Dimension)
2003
No Fashion Records
http://go.to/insania


rating: 3/5

1. Introduction
2. Life After Life
3. Illusions
4. Carry On
5. Master Of My Mind
6. Universe
7. Face The King
8. Fantasy
9. Vengeance
10. Mankind
11. Reflections Of Mine
Aah, Swedish power metal for a change. Insania are a six piece bunch of melodic metallers from the capital of Sweden and this is their third release and follow up to the promising sophomore album "Sunrise in Riverland". So, do they live up to their expectations? In short I'd say yes, but let's delve a bit deeper into their newest work, shall we?

For those of you who are not yet familiar with Insania I'd say it's easiest (and fair) to mention such names as Helloween, Stratovarius and GammaRay in comparison. With the world already overflooding with melodic power metal bands, I'd say it is quite a difficult job to stand out from they "grey" mass where there are hundreds and hundreds of newcomers trying to raise their heads high for others to see. Fortunately I'm glad to announce that Insania, while not actually managing to bring new aspects to happy power metal, have written so catchy and memorable melodies that it's easy to predict them a bright future in the power metal world. Simply put, happy melodic power metal with a fantasy touch.

The singer, Ola Halén, sounds at times like a downtoned Timo Kotipelto, but hits some high notes too. What's good for the band is that they have the whole group writing the song material and aren't dependent on just one man's melody centre, although the drummer Mikko Korsbäck seems to have a leading role in this department. The songs are mostly lightning fast power tunes with catchy melodies but also some slower tunes have been blended in to the mix. The songs aren't constant double bass bombardment which makes the album (to me at least) more enjoyable to listen to. The synths don't get too prominent but are rather nicely blended in and the overall mix sounds well balanced. There are two 9 minute epics that do stand out, "Universe" and "Mankind" but the rest of the song material doesn't get left too far behind as there surely are some singalong choruses on the other songs too.

The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Finnvox studios, which has become a trademark for high quality soundwork, and so this is no exception as the production is once again next to perfect. The album also includes a guest appearance by Roland Grapow on some guitar parts. All in all, the album puts a smile on your face and I think that is what is meant to happen. Recommended for fans of melodic power metal bands such as the aforementioned three.

submitted by Aleksi 01.01.2003

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