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InDespair | Time To Wake Up

by Justin Gaines
– News Editor/Senior Columnist —

InDespairWhen you think of the heavy metal scene in Poland, chances are death metal titans Behemoth and Vader are the first bands that come to mind. It’s probably not the kind of scene you’d expect to find a heavy/thrash hybrid band, but that’s exactly what InDespair delivers with Time To Wake Up, their debut full-length and first release to feature lyrics sung entirely in English.

The “power thrash” sound is, for the most part, a decidedly American brand of metal. It was pioneered in the ‘80s by bands like Vicious Rumors and Sanctuary, and bands like Seventh Calling, Witches Mark and Imagika have carried it into the new era. InDespair, however, embraces this style like it was their birthright. Time To Wake Up is a full-on metal assault from start to headbanging finish. It’s an exercise in razor sharp riffs, crushingly heavy rhythms, dark and violent lyrics, clean (but rough) vocals (with harsher screamed vocals coming in here and there for added emphsasis), and just enough melody to keep you hooked throughout. Testament and Anthrax seem to be the touchstones, as do Iced Earth and Sanctuary, but there’s a brawling, grooving heavy undercurrent running through these songs that suggests a lot of time spent listening to Pantera. Fans of Mercenary and Solution 45 will probably get some mileage out of this one as well. InDespair just does a perfect job of capturing the best elements of thrash metal without the songs becoming just another riff-fest.

InDespair seems like anything but a newcomer or outsider to the sound here. Time To Wake Up is an extremely well-written, well-executed and well-produced album, and it’s one of the best power/thrash albums that has been released in recent years (since Imagika’s Feast for the Hated at least). If you’re on the fence, a quick sample of songs like “A Ripper, a Butcher, a Demon,” “Tonight We Die Free” and the title track ought to convince you. If you like your metal thrashing, heavy, aggressive yet still melodic, this one is easy to recommend: turn it on, turn it up, bang your head. Repeat as necessary.

Genre: Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal

Piotr Krawczyk (v)
Sergiusz Ciskowski (g)
Daniel Bartosik (g)
Sebastian Jarus (d)
Wojchech Fojcik (b)

Track Listing:
1. Destined to Fall
2. Break His Spell
3. Vexila Regis Prodeunt Inferni
4. A Ripper, a Butcher, a Demon
5. Tonight We Die Free
6. To the Weak Ones
7. Time To Wake Up
8. The Scent of Fear
9. Blessed are the Fallen
10. An Inch From Our Demise


Hardrock Haven rating: 8.75/10