Whom Gods Destroy -

(CD 2024, 57:54, Inside Out Music)

The tracks:
  1- In The Name Of War(6:38)
  2- Over Again(5:01)
  3- The Decision(7:08)
  4- Crawl(6:36)
  5- Find My Way Back(5:46)
  6- Crucifier(4:43)
  7- Keeper Of The Gate(4:54)
  8- Hypernova 158(3:24)
  9- Insanium(8:37)
10- Requiem (Bonus Track)(4:58)

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Sons Of Apollo was more than an excellent prog metal band, but when Mike Portnoy announced that he would return to the Dream Theater fold, SOA was "dead and gone" .... But Ron Bumblefoot Thal (guitar) - who also played on the Art Of Anarchy new album - and Derek Sherinian (keyboards) formed a new supergroup called Whom Gods Destroy; and I can honestly say that after a couple of spins of Insanium this band sounds even better than Sons Of Apollo indeed. Next to Thal and Sherinian, the Whom Gods Destroy - great name for a band by the way - line-up consists of singer Dino Jelusick (Whitesnake, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), bass player Yas Nomura (The Resonance Project) and drummer Bruno Valverde (Angra).

This "insane" album, with musical references to Led Zeppelin, Meshuggah, Dream Theater, Muse and Sons Of Apollo, kicks off with the impressive track, and first single of the album In The Name Of War. This is 100% prog metal pure, starting with haunting piano runs, followed by forceful guitar chords, pounding drums, superb singing, a very furious guitar solo and heavenly howling keys by Sherinian. I almost feel that it cannot get any better than this, but follow up Over Again really sounds brutal, being a true metal song with an earworm chorus for sure and again a powerful guitar solo indeed. The Decision is one of my favourite tracks on the album, featuring amazing keyboards and lots of emotion due to the more than excellent throat of Jelusick; man, this guy can really sing!! Crawl is another heavy song, and this one really reminds me of good old Dream Theater; check out the intro indeed. Then, after four heavy ones the listener is treated to a sort of power ballad, called Find My Way Back and here you can really enjoy the more than wonderful voice of Jelusick, sheer power and emotion throughout the entire almost six minutes.
Then it is back to the heavy side of Whom Gods Destroy as Crucified is definitely THE heaviest one of this album, as it almost reminds me of Judas Priest in their glory days; a true heavy-hitting song indeed, so play it LOUD and your neighbours will love it.... Keeper Of The Gate sounds like a heavy Rainbow song, featuring a marvellous doom-laden guitar riff and again a fast, fluid guitar solo by Bumblefoot. The short instrumental Hypernova 158 is a showcase for Sherinian, and the track is more than hyper indeed, what a tempo, love it! Finally, it is time for the title track, being the longest one, and it is divided into three parts - Home For All, Abandoned and Reprise - again featuring wild guitar solos, dynamic drumming, incredible bass riffing and heavenly vocals.

Insanium is a MUST have album for fans of prog metal and bands like Dream Theater and Sons Of Apollo, as Whom Gods Destroy is an absolute "new" talent in the prog metal world indeed. One of the first surprises in 2024 and I am 100% sure that this album will make it into my top five albums of the year as Insanium is really doing overtime in my CD-player. Play it LOUD indeed!!
Listening tip: In The Name Of War

***** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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