• 8/10
    THE AFTERLIFE - Insanity - 8/10


Release date: 2007

User Review
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Since the beginning of the Russian immigration, after the fall of the Iron Curtain between the years 1990-1991, to Israel the country’s Metal scene has grown, respectively, at quite a large rate. The Afterlife are one of the full Russian oriented Metal bands that are sweeping the country with Metal blood in their veins and spreading the word of Metal.

The Afterlife was formed in 2002 from the ashes of the band Splash, which played, back in the day, covers of Deep Purple, Judas Priest and Rainbow along with some originals. Their influences came from the bands they adored and covered in the Splash lineup along with, from what is inferred from their music, various progressive acts. Mainly, these people are bound to old Traditional Heavy Metal. Under the Splash banner, they released, in 2004, a demo which contained two songs. Between the years 2006-2007, the band recorded its first release under The Afterlife name and this year, after performing live for quite a long time, they present the Metal world with their first official release, Insanity, that can be marked as a milestone success.

The two producers, Amy Haronyan and Sergei “Metalheart” Nemichenitser, which is also the rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist, made a decent effort on handling this maiden release. Overall, the outcome is impressive but there are some things, which could have been noticed and acted upon in order to maximize the success rate for this album.

First, there are two mastering issues, one is minor and the other is rather important. The drums have some moments where they sound a bit behind and they are not charging enough as to be expected from this kind of material, especially the snare drum that sounds weak when all guns blazing. The solution is simple… adjusting, slightly more, the volume to all the drums set. In addition, there is probably the most important factor in these mastering issues is the lead guitar sound. Solo breaks carry a huge weight in a song , especially in Heavy Metal oriented songs, and that is the reason it should top any other rhythm instruments that, in this particular album, is the rhythm guitar. What is going on in most of the tracks of Insanity is some kind of a clandestine battle between the guitars. The rhythm guitar almost chokes the sound of the lead guitar to death. Let’s take the solo in “Heading To Doom” , which is an excellent track, but when it reaches the solo part, one can find the minor difficulty of understanding what is going on in there. Only with close attention and concentration one can hear the attacking notes made by Elnur Aliev. The lead guitar should outrun the rhythm anytime a solo break is up.

Second, the guitars’ sound seems too flat and almost without any depth in it. As a major factor in Metal music, the guitars should sound more free and wild, unless these guys wanted to add some Classic Doom elements a’la Candlemass, Electric Wizard or High On Fire. Although there are these negative aspects, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Both guitarists, Metalheart and Aliev, are performing their roles with professionalism and excellence and it seems that each one of them knows what he is doing in the album.

The band’s music and material are divided into parts. There are the simple rhythm sections of pure Traditional Heavy Metal thunder through some progressive drumming pieces by the amazing Sam Davydov, who is doing it old school as hell and one can really notice where his roots are, along with the Neoclassical passive, atmospheric and active keyboards by Lidia Kornienko and the cloud of bass from Sergei Dimitrik. The rhythm section is quite good presenting various heavy and charging riffs, and with the assistance of the nice solos by the lead guitar, it tries to show an effort to make the music more melodic and interesting. The music has many 80’s Heavy Metal influences along with small touches of progressiveness. The one thing that wasn’t probably taken into account is that the guitars’ sound can make one think that Classical Doom is also one of their influences, maybe it is and maybe not, yet still it’s not a bad thing. Finally, let’s not forget the most gifted vocalist, Dennis Rizikov, who had some experience with several bands. This guy is a mix between Dio and Tony Martin, he has his rough edges and a mostly soft melodic voice. When push comes to shove you will notice him fly away with high pitched shrieks.

Insanity can be categorized as a psychological and as a pessimist with themes about loss , the will to live , madness and insanity , fear and pain. “Heading For Doom” has a nice ring to it. The song discusses the process of one losing his mind with no ability to stop himself. “Blind Belief” can be easily recognized as a religious song that presents the longing for God and the resentment and despising the Devil. “Trapped” is a very interesting song that can relate to a closed mind of a person who tries to break out with no success or just a wicked dream and escaping from it. “Now You Are Gone” is a strong song about the end of a relationship after the death of a loved one and the outcome, which is a broken person who cannot handle himself being alone. The final song is “Closed Hell” which is one of the pessimistic ones ever read, it is about the will to end one’s life while thinking of personal failures and lack of accomplishments.

The Afterlife presents a more than decent release that can capture your mind, if you are up to it. They have some good tracks here but they are not breaking walls with this one as they are doing when they perform live on stage. Maybe it’s because of the sound issues above.
Here are the best tracks all around on this one: After the Horror show of the intro comes in without mercy “Heading For Doom” which is a very good track, probably the best of this release. The music is great and all the participants are doing a hell of a job. One thing is regrettable and that is in the chorus, which is astounding, Metalheart is not performing his role as a backup singer like in their live shows. If he had done so this one could have been far better than it is. The self-titled track is the second comer with a great chorus and some feeling of an oriental atmosphere. “Now You Are Gone”’s music matches it’s lyrics with perfection, an excellent emotional track. “Trapped” is a solid track that one has to get used to in order to like it. It has a great semi-monologue between the keyboards and the lead guitar. “Last Silence” is a artistic piece with strong hints of progressiveness.

The Afterlife is one of those Heavy Metal bands who try to rise up in an Extreme environment like the Israeli Metal scene. They have the will and they will fight for their right to be one of the greatest, that is guaranteed. May their music inspire other Israeli acts to bring Heavy Metal to an awareness and to its rightful place, because it’s second to none.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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