Some of you might ask now, what the hell I am doing in a review of IN-QUEST, as the more brutal side of Death Metal is not really my thing. Well, as said somewhere else, there always (ok, often) are the famous exceptions to the rules and IN-QUEST’s latest effort “Epileptic” is one of these exceptions.
What already leaves a good impression right off the bat is the artwork of the whole booklet, with the logo in silver print, looks very good, a bit abstract the whole thing, but very well done. For lovers of great cover art, as myself, a damn good start. When looking at Ralf’s review of the previous release “Destination: Pyroclasm“, then the question comes up again, why the heck do I review this?
Well, yes, IN-QUEST are brutal, no question, especially the deep voice of ABORTED fronter Sven (who has left IN-QUEST by now), but still the whole thing has got something different, for the Belgians do not only have pretty variable vocals, which also go into the higher Death Metal regions and a little bit of clean vocals (more fragments than actual passages), and even more so very varied song structures, taking out speed and heaviness to induce a more powerful and also melodic passage, which is always a big, big plus.
Opener „Neurofractal Bypass“ is a great example that captures the band sound very well and more or less unites all the elements without sounding torn or confusing, catchiness and high complexity, melody and brutality combined, to form a union that many bands don’t even dare to dream of. The duo Douglas and Jan fires off guitar attacks en masse, while drummer Gert with a damn tight mix from blastbeats (no, I still don’t like them) and fat double bass sets a rhythm machine in motion that could take down skyscrapers all on their own. And above that roars Sven and annihilates anything that has survived so far.
“Reverberating Human Callousness” then shows what these guys are capable of, if they don’t go to sixth gear, but steam roll over you with incredible force, which also suits them very well. “Retrospective Void“ then puts Swedish sounding riffing over a double bass driven song, which also gets very technical again, as typical for IN-QUEST, but with great melodies as well! “In For The Kill” is a cover version of a PRO-PAIN song, would not have recognised that one… Then we still have “Scorched”, which starts out very atmospheric, then staying melodic, but with fat guitars, just to start a sluggish groove after a bit more than two minutes, to be interspersed with these melodic guitars, which then in turn are replaced by the double bass, very strong song indeed!
What I have not mentioned yet, but very definitely will have to do, is the production by Tue Madsen, because that one is in-cre-di-ble! IN-QUEST build up a wall of sound that hardly could be surpassed in power and force, but without sacrificing any of the clarity, this production herewith is awarded the, well, award of world class!
So you can see, even though I normally do not like the brutal stuff, I recommend to check out IN-QUEST’s third long player “Epileptic” (if you, of course, are somewhat compatible to Death Metal and also can handle technical material and at least partly very deep vocals), the Belgians have created a killer here! (Online April 25, 2004)