EP review: Insurgent – Sentient
Formed in 2019 in Birmingham, where the band’s members were all studying at BIMM, Insurgent have crafted a debut release that’s every bit as powerful and energising as their moniker. Across six breathless songs, the band – vocalist Kate Teitge, guitarist Joe Rowley, bassist Jake Brette and drummer Mike Tabone – have marked themselves as some of the brightest new lights in the UK metal scene.
Infusing soaring melodies and chugging power chords with proggy tendencies, the six songs on this EP are emotive and intelligent in equal measure. They’re all written from the point of view of a God-like figure, through which the band offer their perspective on what it means to be both human and alive. It’s certainly a lofty concept, but thanks to Kate’s commanding, bombastic vocals and the band’s impressive technical proficiency, they pull it off, all the while ensuring the emotion of these songs isn’t lost to either the ideas at the heart of them or the band’s virtuoso abilities.
Opener Zero Sum is exhilarating – a constant crescendo with a symphonic metal edge that leads into the gloomier, moodier but not less enthralling Counterpart, which itself builds into a rousing, raging conclusion. The jittery rhythms of Dogma aren’t quite so compelling, but the two songs that follow – the pulverising ebb and flow of Colours Bleed and the tense, insistent riffs of Eclipse – soon get things back on track.
It all comes to a close with the more nuanced, tender strains of My Sentence Awaits. Billed as a ‘spiritual reflection and criticism’ of that God-like figure, it rounds off the concept with a knowing, self-aware flourish. But you don’t need to necessarily buy into the themes if you don’t want – these songs more than stand their own ground without. It all makes for a bold and invigorating introduction to band brimming with ideas and the talent to bring them to life.
Sentient is self-released on August 6.
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