Spreading The Disease – Insurrection (2017)




    Spreading The Disease are a UK groove/nu-metal act that have been garnering a lot of attention. Even I thought their Viral EP was quite formidable, having covered it on my home website a few years back. I particularly remember “Bulldozer” being a real crusher. Well, years have passed and the band’s first actual debut release is now upon us. So how does it fare?

    Quite simply, it makes me think of a more punctual Vision Of Disorder with a slight Pantera and Machine Head kind of vibe. This is particularly due to the vocal efforts of frontman Connor Russel Snyder. He seems to use the band as a bit of a soapbox, speaking out about several issues, sometimes in the nature of hefty dialogue. This has been done within punk and hardcore for quite a time, but it also reminds me of Skyclad and in particuliar, the Walkyier days. The record is full of angsty protest, much in the vein of many other nu-metal discs during that era. The only difference here, is that it is a bit more political in nature, specifically the song “Brexit Tears” which requires no more explanation of that point. In fact, the band’s first video single “Greed” seems to further exemplify their political leanings.

    As you may expect for such a politically natured album, the record also contains several bits of punk and metalcore. Snyder’s vocals in particular feel like a mix of these, creating something that feels like Sick Of It All or Iron Reagan with extra bits of groove/nu-metal. But you didn’t really expect them to release a disc that was pure nu-metal in 2017, did you? Rather Insurrection seems to capture the best parts of nu-metal and sandwich them inside of a punk/core sandwich, which has the ability to access many groups of people within both the punk and nu-metal scenes.

    In the same breath, I will say that the sound here is a bit different than that offered within the band’s Viral EP and I don’t yet know how I feel about that. After all, Viral wasn’t as preachy as far as the lyrical delivery and offered a bit more punch. Still, I love Vision Of Disorder and find this album kind of a second coming in that respect, it feels like these Brits evolved VOD’s formula into something equally as powerful as their classics. Though honestly, I think that if I’m going to look at this through the eyes of a post-metalcore generation; I’ll be quite pleased with the return to punk aesthetics of the disc as well as it’s abiltity to capture the core bands that I grew up listening to. I might not care so much for the grooves and would consider more technicality a selling point. It’s extremely tough to categorize this through the eyes of the next metal generation and having spoken with many of these people in communities, I am seeing an unexpected divide between classic metal and nu-metal, with a great appreciation for all things technical and artistic, as well as extreme core groups. The nu-metal portions utilized in this band might appeal more to my generation, but I’m not sure how well the kids will get into it and I’m rather lost on the target demographic here. Is this being marketed for me or the new generation of hevay music listeners?

    Regardless of that demographic, I can say that the record features a slew of great solo pieces and these are not so common in groove/nu-metal type acts. Additionally, these songs are a bit more complex in some areas than a lot of the commonplace nu-metal/groove acts were, even throwing in some thrash nodes in “Save Me” which I wouldn’t have expected. It’s assured that Martin Osbourne really wanted to show off on the record, and he does get that chance several times through. Aside from that, band mastermind Steve Saunders pounds out heavy bass riffs in addition to slightly more technical sections here and there that just happen to give the music a bit more finesse. For a debut album, Insurrection had quite a bit of thought put into it and I think that will be the main selling point. Now it just needs some ears.


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