Hymns of the Gods Before

Well for God’s sake…no that doesn’t seem right. For Satan’s sake? No, that just sounds stupid. For fuck’s sake? Yeah…that sums it up pretty good. Oh for fuck’s sake! After twenty-four years since the release of the band’s debut album, Divine Decomposition, Insatanity have returned with a “sort of” new full-length album of blackened brutal death metal, entitled Hymns of the Gods Before.

I say sort of, because a new album this is not, and frankly, the band, and/or CDN Records, has got a lot of nerve for for marketing it as such. Out of nine tracks you get eight originals and a damn fine cover of Deicide‘s, “When Satan Rules His World”. The problem is is that out of those eight originals, six not only appear on the band’s 2018 Pathologically Explicit Recordings EP release, Upon the Ivory Throne, but they make up its entirety: and one, “Trail of Terror” dates back to the 1994 demo, Ad Maiorem Satanae Gloriam. Now look, I get re-recording older tracks for various reasons, demo songs, and even material that maybe never saw the light of day except for a self-released pressing or such, but this is ridiculous.

To be fair, all the previously released material has been tweaked and/or reworked in certain, mostly successful ways, that do seem to add something to the original versions. And yes, the fact that this album is called Hymns of the Gods Before isn’t lost on me in that 90% of the material are songs that the band has done before, but like I mentioned earlier, passing Hymns… off as a newfull-length seems a bit shiesty. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe I missed the info from the band that stated this wasn’t a full-fledged, all new  full-length offering as much as a compilation, or a retelling of the Upon the Ivory Throne EP or such. Oh well, not to quote Linkin Park, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.

Insatanity, if you’re not previously familiar with, employ a blackened tinged helping of brutal death metal and honestly always have. Ever since their demo days, and up to this very moment, the band has done a good job at having and preserving their own established and competent sound. In fact, I never really understood why they didn’t get a bit more recognition back in the day; sure their band name is both clever and silly as fuck, and if anyone remembers them in the mid ’90’s, then you know that not only would they sport corpse-paint unnecessarily, since it didn’t fit their more brutal death metal sound, but their corpse paint was, to this day, some of the worst/most laughable shit ever. Regardless of the reasons, Insatanity never really went beyond Divine Decompositon other than a few independently released EP’s and the aforementioned Upon the Ivory Throne release.

With the reworked tracks and the one new original track from Hymns…, “Ashes of the Apostle”, the band delivers quite a tasty treat of Deicide meets Incantation like barbarity, though wrapped in a swaddling tight blanket of black metal ferocity. Even the aforementioned Deicide cover track manages to sway to the blacker side of things here and there, giving the track a bit more to offer than a standard carbon copy affair. I know, it seems kind of dickish of me to bash on the group one moment and then turn around and say that the material presented here on Hymns of the Gods Before is quite satisfying, if not necessarily original in style or actual “newness”, but it is what it is and I said what I said.

Having said all that, I do have to give bassist/vocalist, Chris Lytle his proper dues. As the only member with ties going back to the mid ’90’s, the man has done a bang up job of keeping the blood flowing and retaining that vibe of appeal the group  has always had while definitely upping the ante and bringing a bit of a faster and  blacker edge to the group.

Honestly, my earlier angst simply comes from a fan’s standpoint of wanting all new and uber fresh material. Who knows though, maybe Hymns… is simply a type of introduction for the band to those less, or not at all, initiated to the sounds of Insatanity. Maybe  these reworkings of older tracks are simply the beginning of something a lot more procreative and prolific, as well as indictive of things to come.

Whether or not this is the case is anyone’s guess, yet as it stands, Hymns of the Gods Before is quite a powerful and enjoyable forray of death metal that easily will appease the most ardent of listening beasts. Even if it isn’t really quite a new full-length album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
August 20th, 2020


  1. Commented by: nicholas kulczycki

    I don’t think this has that many original members on it?

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