PHEAR - Insanitarium
October 2, 2015, 8 years ago
Mississauga-based Phear packs quite a punch on its debut full-length release, Insanitarium. On its 13 vibrant tracks, the band’s brand of power/thrash metal is a perfect blend of melody and ferocity. Vocalist Patrick Mulock fronted fellow Canadians Eidolon from 2001-03, which featured Glen Drover (Megadeth, King Diamond, Eidolon) and his brother Shawn (Megadeth, Act of Defiance, Eidolon), pre-Megadeth. Mulock’s mid-range and high-end harmonies are exceptional, while killer growls from guest vocalist Jon Howard (Threat Signal) compliment his singing style. Other notable guest musicians include Glen Drover, Bjorn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork) and several others.
Insanitarium begins strong with the one-two punch of “Regan’s Dream” and “Don’t Scream,” both possessing catchy choruses and headbangable riffs. “Fallen” lacks the immediate punchiness of the previous two tracks, but still manages to hold the listener’s attention. The rest of the tracks are equally as strong. In fact, there’s really not a bad track in the bunch, although instrumental closer “Snap!” seems like an afterthought compared to the other tracks. The main guitar work from Tyson Emanuel and Graham Stirrett is exceptional throughout the album, executing of a plethora of trade-off leads, Flamenco picking and menacing riffs — performed with precision and technicality. Insanitarium is a damn fine independent release with a decent production and professional looking packaging.