Intense - 'The Shape Of Rage' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 14, 2012    
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An album of galloping rhythms and lengthy split guitar solos.

‘The Shape Of Rage’ – interesting title; interesting album too – sees UK power metallers Intense on a new label although still ploughing the furrow they know best. Although there was what frontman Sean Hetherington calls “a massive leap” between 2007’s ‘As Our Army Grows’ and its predecessor ‘Second Sight’ their third full album takes on from where ‘…Army…’ left off and delivers another slice of balls-to-the-wall traditional British metal. Working once again with Threshold’s Karl Groom in the producer’s chair, Hetherington and his partners-in-crime Dave Peak and Nick Palmer (guitars), Steve Brine (bass) and Neil Ablard (drums) have lovingly crafted a passionate, fifty minute cradle of emotions, proudly declaring once again ‘we are a British metal band and we play British metal loud and proud!’ From the Eastern-tinged opener ‘Anubis’ to set closer and title track ‘The Shape Of Rage’ this is an album of galloping rhythms, lengthy split guitar solos showcasing the talents of Peak ‘n’ Palmer, a rock solid backbone in Brine and Ablard (boy, do they make that drummer work hard!) and Hetherington’s distinctive creosote-coated vocals. It’s an album that soars like an eagle, races like a thoroughbred and presses more buttons than an overworked lift attendant.

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The lengthy gap between releases was certainly not part of the game plan. According to Hetherington, it was largely due to “a search for a new label; it just took time to find the right one. We’re already querying studio time for late next year to ensure that it won’t be such a long wait next time.” That said, the album was deliberately not rushed. “The recording process was fragmented once again, but this suits us. Having the ability to go away and listen to stages of the recording before venturing back in helps us tweak parts and see what works,” allowing them to build layer upon layer on rock-solid foundations. The album features bassist Brine’s first writing credit for Intense, contributing ‘Lie’, which Hetherington calls “a fast-paced song [that] kills the guitarists so should be fun for us to play live and for the crowd to bang along to.” It’s also different from the back catalogue as Clive Nolan (Arena, Pendragon) made a guest appearance on the sessions, providing an alternate ending to this song, and, according to the vocalist, “although it didn’t make the final cut, this version will become available as a bonus track or a B-side. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what people make of the two different versions.”

And the album’s intriguing title? “‘The Shape Of Rage’is one of Nick’s songs and is about [director] David Cronenberg, based on one of his films. We liked the phrase ‘The Shape of Rage’ because we thought it summed up an album of emotions extremely well. We don’t normally use a song title for the name of an album and we don’t actually see that as the main song; it’s just that the title fitted perfectly.” So now you know about the title, check out the ‘…Rage’.

John Tucker

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