Friday, September 22, 2017

Album Review: Insatia, Phoenix Aflame

Better late than never...

I've had a very busy year, and I've been neglecting my blog lately. But, I had to review this album. Singer, Zoe Marie Federoff sent me this album to review over 3 months ago. She is not only one of my favorite guests of the radio show, she is one of my favorite people period. She's a sweetheart, and she's extremely talented, both as a singer and songwriter, and a good friend. She's also the only person who has taken me up on my offer to guest write on this blog. So, here's the review, better late than never.

Insatia is a power/symphonic metal band from Arizona, fronted by the lovely, aforementioned, Zoe Marie Federoff. Their latest album, Phoenix Aflame starts off with an intro, called Land of the Living. It has the feel of a metal opera presentation that hooks you pretty much right off the bat. Although, it doesn't really sound like anything else on the album. I thought that was a pretty cool little trick. Track 2, Act of Mercy is a heavy and driving number that showcases the ability of guitarist, Kaelen Sarakinis. He's a badass. Memory of a Sapphire is another power driven tune that has some beautiful harmony backing vocals. Sacred is a deep and powerful song with gritty guitar, and the harsh false harmonics on the guitar, made popular by Zakk Wylde. We Are The Grey has an anthem feel to it. The title track, Phoenix Aflame? Buckle up. This song is fast and heavy. A nice clinic on speed metal. Not My God is a sweet duet between Zoe and Spiritual Beggars vocalist Apollo Papathanasio. I'd love a chance to sing a duet with Zoe. Velvet Road is kind of a departure from the heavy aspect of the album. Its a ballad with acoustic guitar and keyboards, and creates visions of the Scottish highlands. 

Every track on this album is great. No fillers here, and its honestly hard to pick a favorite. Although, Act of Mercy, Not My God, Phoenix Aflame, Captor and Captive, Velvet Road, and Healer of Hatred are in the running. See what I did there? The musicianship on this album is top notch, and the musicians seem to gel together very well. This is a stellar lineup. 

Guitars: Kaelen Sarakinis, Bass: Dave Ablaze, Vocals:
Zoe Marie Federoff, Drums: Daniel Ted Milan
But, on top of the heavy metal greatness on this album, Insatia is joined by several more heavy hitters. The guest list includes Chris Amott (Armageddon, Ex-Arch Enemy), Apollo Papathanesio (Spiritual Beggars, Ex-Firewind), Erica James Foster (The Erica James Band), Christian Hermsdörfer (Serenity, Beyond The Black, Ex-Visions Of Atlantis), and many others. Produced by Fabio D'Amore (Serenity) and his partner Ivan Moni Bidin (Pathosray), as well as Staffan Karlsson.

If you want an album that will assault your senses, yet soothe your soul, then Insatia's Phoenix Aflame is for you. Zoe's vocals are haunting, sensual,  powerful, and sweet all at the same time. She's a great singer, and the band is all on the same level with each other. You'll swear this lineup has been together for years, but its only been a couple. 

So, what else can I say? Buy this album, and turn it up to 11!

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