PHEAR - Insanitarium (Re-Release)
December 10, 2018, a month ago
So here we are with a proper re-release of Phear’s 2015 debut. Originally released independently on digital, the Ontario heavy thrashers have teamed with Pittsburgh based RFL Records for a full-fledged promotion of the album and to gain a broader audience. The most prominent member of these guys is singer Patrick Mulock, who was the voice of Eidolon on two album in the early 2000’s. Insanitarium is a wicked 88 minute journey of high class heavy metal and if you’re a fan of the giants of our past, then you will certainly enjoy this.
With a top notch vocalist who possesses a ton of range; the music must match the quality and indeed it does as right out of the gate we get the melodic, ultra-catchy, and Nevermore-ish “Regan’s Dream”. The guitars are heavy hitting and hold a modern, but still a heavy and crunchy sound and wow, the intricate solos on these tracks are truly impressive. There are a lot of moments that garner attention and will cause you to headbang mercilessly. Mulock’s vocal delivery keeps ups the game; having a charismatic and strong singer makes a ton of difference. If it was Geoff Tate clone #45; Phear wouldn’t nearly be as dynamic as a unit. The tracks that will receive the most attention is the frisky and badass riff of “Motives Unknown” and the galloping “Don’t Scream”, which ironically is introduced with a scream. Also pay mind to the acoustic began “Heaven”; a ballbuster of an epic that is accented by pianos and is brought home with a great chorus.
Sitting at 13 tracks and with that robust length, Insanitarium could have certainly used some trimming. When each song runs above 5 mins (except for the closing instrumental “Snap!”), there is going to be some exhaustion sitting through this whole experience. That should in no way be a deterrent for listening though; Insanitarium is top notch heavy metal regardless. Just dive in; there’s nothing to phear.