Tommy Hjelm - vocals, guitars
Martin Rygge - guitars
Ola S Hana - bass
Truls Haugen - drums
Growing up in the small town of Ski, just outside the Norwegian capital, Oslo, guitarist Tommy Hjelm and drummer Håvard Iversen were the sparks that would ignite the inferno that would become Insense. Both felt estranged and embarrassed by the Norwegian music scene, overcrowded by corpsepainted idiots and Korn wannabes, and decided that their band would be something different. Joined by guitarist Martin Rygge and Magnus Ruud (bass) Insense began their musical journey in earnest. The four members, all with very different musical backgrounds, rehearsed and put “music for themselves” first. The result was a hybrid of technically brutal riffs and aggressive melodies.
Three years later, in June 2002, their self-titled debut album was released on American label This Dark Reign, and was critically acclaimed by a unanimous American and European press. With the addition of vocalist Eigil Dragvik, the band started touring Norway extensively, which seemed like a road to self-annihilation. It wasn’t only the band’s intense songs, but their brutal stage shows that left members bloody and bruised night after night. The band’s first European tour took place over two weeks in 2003.
Exit Dragvik and Iversen – enter Truls Haugen. With a new drummer and Hjelm back on vocal detail, Insense’s time-consuming songwriting gave birth to “Soothing Torture” in January 2005. Now on Norwegian cult label Black Balloon Records / Candlelight Records (USA), “Soothing Torture” marked a departure from their technical roots. The riffs were more straightforward and primitive, the sound was angrier, and the vibe darker. The press was again impressed by the band’s newest opus, but found it hard to classify them. Some called it a cross between the “time signatures in the noise tech vein of the new Dillenger Escape Plan, with the subtlety of Neurosis coupled with the extreme controlled aggression of Slipknot”. Others cited “Sepultura’s raw heaviness, Meshuggah’s technical prowess, and Strapping Young Lad’s ornate song structuring.” Despite the schizophrenic descriptions, the reviews were overwhelming.
The following year Ruud quit and was replaced by Ola S Hana. Insense gave Norway another go, before embarking on a 7-week tour of Europe. This tour would take them through 12 countries, from Estonia in the east to the UK in the west.
Shortly after the tour, the band started the recording of their third record. With a starkly different approach, the album was recorded in various locations over 8 months. For the first time in the band’s history, Insense producer Hjelm decided to recruit someone else to mix the album. The responsibility fell on Danne Bergstrand. After a week of fighting against the hours, “The Silent Epidemic” saw the light of day.
The new album takes Insense’s schizophrenic menace a step further.
Faster, harder, deeper, cleaner, clearer, angrier!
Insense is back – no holds barred!
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