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Whom Gods Destroy “Insanium” album review by Gabriel Zarruk

WHOM GODS DESTROY band members scaled

Whom Gods Destroy is the new progressive metal band founded by former Sons of Apollo power duo keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Black Country Communion, ex- Dream Theater) and guitar player Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Art of Anarchy, ex- Guns N’ Roses).

After a tour cut short with SOA in 2020, the two musicians found themselves working on new ideas during their newfound mandatory free time. Not really knowing what would happen next, they recruited powerhouse croatian singer Dino Jelusick (Whitesnake, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and decided to embark on their next musical venture together.

With the addition of Brazilian drummer extraordinaire Bruno Valverde (Angra, Kiko Loureiro) and Japanese guitar virtuoso Yas Nomura (The Resonance Project) on bass, their lineup was complete and thus their debut album, Insanium, was born.

Coming after two albums with Sons of Apollo, and sharing the two main writers from that band, this new album would appear, at first sight, to follow a similar musical style and direction, however, Insanium showcases a more modern influenced and cohesive songwriting from Sherinian and Thal, whose writing style became powerfully complemented by Jelusick and the rest of the personnel. A good way to describe this band is a heavier, grittier, more technical and current sounding version of its predecessor.

The album opens with “In the Name of War”, a ferocious intro that wastes no time in getting the point across: these guys are not messing around. Also serving as first single and, therefore, introduction to the band, this song showcases every one of the strengths this band has to offer, from a haunting piano intro, to powerful heavy riffs, great vocals and playing, strong melodies and killer solos.

The second track, and second single as well, “Over Again”, showcases a much more modern progressive metal approach in the verses, with Dino’s vocals taking the forefront in a very percussive way. There’s a sense of anger and aggression in the music that gets lifted and enhanced by the song’s lyrics. 

The Decision” brings a slight change of pace after two heavy and relentless high energy songs. This track, while also remaining powerful, is more of a mid-tempo rocker with a sound that’s reminiscing of modern day Symphony X, specially the vocal delivery. They attained a very enjoyable vibe with this song, however, it kind of takes a left turn for a technical solo section in the middle before getting back on track and finishing strong.

Odd-time keyboard riffs introduce “Crawl”, which is another high energy song. Some of the sections here showcase a nice light vs hard contrast with a dialog between the keyboards and heavy guitars. As mentioned before, strong melodies and great playing are all over this record, and this song is no exception.

Find My Way Back” is the first proper “ballad” of the album. Acoustic guitars introduce us to the song, which is also driven by the emotive yet powerful vocals of Dino Jelusick. This one presents us with an anthemic chorus that will find us singing “help me find my way back” before we know it. The song is also greatly enhanced by Bumblefoot’s melodic guitar solos.

Crucifier” hits you right from the start with another signature riff that’s driven by heavy keyboards and distorted guitars. This is the one that reminded me the most to Ron and Derek’s work with Sons of Apollo.

Fretless guitars and groovy riffs with an eastern feel kickstart “Keeper of the Gate”. Another mid-tempo rocker, this is the other track where the vocals reminded me of Russell Allen and Symphony X.

For fast instrumental madness and mind-blowing playing, “Hypernova 158” is the perfect prescription. Sheer technicality and impeccable precision abound in this three and a half minute track, with the rhythmic section of Valverde and Nomura shining through every beat.

The title track, “Insanium”, is the album’s closing epic. The highlight here is the mellower middle section, which compliments very well with the “main” song sections at the start and end of it. Though the longest track on the album, it flies by, leaving you asking for more as the last riff gets repeated while fading away.

Luckily, there’s more with “Requiem”, a nice bonus track to round things up. This is what I would call a more theatrical song. The different approach here might explain why it’s listed as a bonus song, but I wouldn’t want to have the album without it. It’s the perfect epilogue for the album.

To sum things up, Whom Gods Destroy were able to create a great debut album that definitely won’t disappoint. This isn’t just a rehash of previous ideas and sounds, but rather an upgrade from what came before from Bumblefoot and Sherinian. On top of that, Jelusick’s vocals and the rhythmic mastery of Nomura and, especially, Valverde bring this to a whole new level.

For a second album, I personally would like to see them experiment a little more with longer song structures and sections; and also explore Dino’s clean voice for a couple tracks, instead of only using his raspy tone.

All in all, this is a great start for a new band that shows a lot of promise and definitely delivers what it sets out to do.

Insanium” comes out on March 15 through Inside Out Music / Century Media.

Gabriel’s Rating: 9/10

he album’s pre-order in its various formats has started today here: https://whomgodsdestroy.lnk.to/Insanium

WHOM GODS DESTROY album cover

Whom Gods Destroy – “Insanium” (52:56)
1. In the Name Of War (06:38) 
2. Over Again (05:01) 
3. The Decision (07:08)
4. Crawl (06:36)
5. Find My Way Back (05:46) 
6. Crucifier (04:43)
7. Keeper of the Gate (04:54)
8. Hypernova 158 (03:24) 
9. Insanium (08:37)

WHOM GODS DESTROY line-up:
(From left to right on photo Greg Vorobiov)
Bruno Valverde – Drums
Yas Nomura – Bass
Dino Jelusick – Vocals
Derek Sherinian – Keyboards
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – Guitars

WHOM GODS DESTROY online:
https://wgdestroy.com
https://www.facebook.com/wgdestroy
https://www.instagram.com/wgdestroy
https://twitter.com/wgdestroy
https://www.threads.net/@wgdestroy
https://www.tiktok.com/@wgdestroy
https://www.youtube.com/@wgdestroy

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