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Phoenix Aflame

     
         
         
         
     
             
Insatia are a symphonic power metal band from the USA and Canada forming in 2009 and led by the stunningly beautiful Zoe Marie Federoff. The band released their debut album 'Asylum Denied' in 2013 and their sophomore album 'Phoenix Aflame' in 2017. The new album features guest musicians Fabio D'Amore (Pathosray, Serenity), Christian Hermsdorfer (Beyond The Black, Serenity), Apollo Papathanasio (Spiritual Beggars, Firewind, Evil Masquerade), Christopher Amott (Armageddon, Arch Enemy) and many others.    
             
'Intro (Land Of The Living) is an atmospheric and scene setting one minute crescendo that builds the tension towards the launch of the album proper...the bombastic and bustling 'Act Of Mercy'. Melodic heavy metal with a female vocal lead never sounded so good. The vocal delivery is symphonic, but (for me thankfully) doesn't reach the screechy heights of some symphonic metal bands. Insatia are much more metal driven, delivering hard and heavy songs that are catchy and infectious. Buzzing guitar riffage greets the listener as 'Memory Of Sapphire' lurches forward and foot stomps on at a very heavy mid tempo pace. The clean and clear, faultless vocal performance is exhilarating and a joy to listen to, with the assembled guest musicians playing their part fantastically. With ten songs on offer across only forty minutes, the new album is relatively a short one, but it is stuffed full of bombastic and hard hitting power metal. 'Sacred' delivers a much heavier guitar sound and strides majestically on at a mid tempo, foot stomping pace. Add a catchy sing a long style chorus and 'Sacred' is a sparkling song.    
             
There is no time for a breather as the album relentlessly rolls on, energy and intensity oozing from everywhere. 'We Are The Gray' slows the pace to a near doom metal style, with a very heavy guitar riff. Zoe Marie is an exceptional singer, a vocal coach too and is a former student of (Nightwish singer) Floor Jansen. The album takes a dramatic turn into the speed metal genre with the blistering title song 'Phoenix Aflame'. Full of pace and speed, 'Phoenix Aflame' is a thunderous rampage and a cracking opportunity to give your neck a workout with some vigorous head banging. All pace and power dissipates as the ballad 'Not My God' rolls in on the back of a sparkling keyboard intro, and features ex-Firewind singer Apollo Papathanasio. The duet style ballad works very well, both singers complimenting each other with some very passionate vocals. A bit too heavy and too powerful to raise your lighters in the air, or even sway from side to side, 'Not My God' is a superb power ballad.    
             
Melodic hard rock takes centre stage as 'Captor And The Captive' strolls in and foot stomps on its way. The exceptional voice of Zoe Marie is at its most powerful here as 'Captor And The Captive' has an addictiveness and infectiousness second to none. I have never been a fan of the symphonic metal genre, mostly as I don't like the high pitched screech and squeal of some of the bands singers, but with Insatia, the vocals are just at the right level. The more soulful side of Zoe Marie comes to the fore with an absolute stunning hymn like vocal delivery for 'Velvet Road'. Ambling along, seemingly without a care in the world, 'Velvet Road' is a sway from side to side song. Bringing the album to a close is the heaviest song on offer, the swashbuckling 'My Healer Of Hatred'. Heavy guitars and a thunderous rhythm, 'My Healer Of Hatred' gallops along at pace and is a cracking end to a brilliant album.    
             
Overall, top notch melodic power metal with an exceptional and stunning vocal performance, 'Phoenix Aflame' is a superb album and a must listen.    
             
             
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
             
Reviewed For High Road Publicity    
             
Review is also featured at Metal Gods TV    
             
             
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