Netherland’s Crustacean have been together since 1989, mainly touring and playing Slayer and have only released a handful of material. Demos included. None the less, Insaniac marks the band’s progress to full- length number dos.

First, you can’t avoid the cover artwork on this disc. Cheesy computer generated 3D skeletons, badly modeled demon and bright and purple colors perfected with a huge pentagram. The contrast between reality and the unreal cover picture forced me through strong flashbacks from my LSD driven LRRP-days with the 75th Infantry. And I’ve never been to Vietnam so I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. At least the cheese suits the whole package perfectly.

Insaniac begins with a quick presentation of Quake 3 Arena’s commentator sound clips. Actually the whole song, resourcefully named “Arena”, concentrates completely on Quake 3. “You walk around the weaponry in search of slugs or plasma cells / You stop and hear the railgun hum / Your brain is smeared across the wall”. Quite touching. And I the way I see things, there’s plenty of other connections between the lyrics and gaming entertainment. Destruction, intestines and death are spread equally through out the album. I guess the geek inside this sociopathic shell of mine, finally got lyrical content that pleased all my entertainment requirements. “Kill kill kill”.

Musicwise, Crustacean is a mixed bag. You can’t just say that it’s thrash or that it’s death since it’s clearly not either, but both at the same time. Crustacean sounds like Crustacean, simple as that. Guitar riffage peeling off all flesh on the front lines while drums and bass give pounding support like 155mm artillery just behind the main attack force. If Bolt Thrower usually sounds like a horde of 68 ton iron beasts rushing down the hill in full speed, then Crustacean is more like mechanized infantry. Strong, yet light enough to move with extreme agility under blitzkrieg conditions. As with the music, vocals aren’t either thrash nor death. More like low screaming and shouting that get’s the job done.

Two clear favorites from the album are the two faster ones. After the Dismember-ish intro, “Satanizer” kicks in and the tempo speeds up for a good two minutes. Same goes for the last track on the album, “State of the Necropolis” (Fallout, anyone?). Such occasions are like the adrenaline rush you get from switching positions from cover to another while knowing that the enemy MG42 is itching to get its barrel warmed. So, while the mass remains the same from a song to another, there’s still enough variety to keep you murderous for the whole 35 minutes.

I wouldn’t say that Insaniac is essential, because quite simply, it isn’t. However, it’s not completely worthless either. While it doesn’t force you to mosh your head off or make ‘the claw’ in front of the mirror for the whole duration of the album, it’s still a fun CD to pop in when you want to take the middle road; it’s not aggressive as most brutal Death Metal nor is it as fast as most Thrash. It’s somewhere in between. Fans of war related imaginary, gore infested computer games and of course hard, heavy and rugged metal should find the album appealing to at least some extend.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
May 10th, 2003


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