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Album Review: "Recollections of the Insane" by Belgian Death and Thrash Metal Band Schizophrenia

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

About the Band Schizophrenia and Their Debut Album

Schizophrenia is a death and thrash metal band that is from Antwerp, Belgium and they first began their activities under the name of Hammerhead from 2010 to 2016. It is nice to see that even the country of Belgium is starting to make its presence felt in the large thrash metal scene. Their 2022 debut album Recollections of the Insane is said to be influenced by several bands such as Death, Morbid Angel, and Sepultura. I do see some instances of the Florida death metal scene and Sepultura in these songs but this is a more modern type of album obviously.

“Divine Immolation” is the first example of this modern death and thrash metal hybrid as the lyrics can feel pretty gory at times but the melody of the songs might put your mind off of that. It could be that lyrically this song is about some ancient sacrificial ritual.

About the Songs

Songs such as “Sea of Sorrow” has an exotic sort of main riff and there is even a secondary riff that reminds me of Testament to a degree. It sure has been a long time for these guys to release their debut album but it is well done for such a long delay or wait. The song’s title is pretty accurate to match the lyrics so from that sense, this album is off to a good start. Then you have songs titled “Cranial Separation” which suggests that these guys might have been influenced by Cannibal Corpse. “Onwards to Fire” has the feel of a song off of the album Individual Thought Patterns which is incredible because it shows that the influence of the late Chuck Schuldiner is still being felt. The song is about, well the fiery depths of hell. Near the end of the song is a guitar style that you would have heard back in 1984 with bands like Fates Warning. And then the next song “Souls of Retribution” has a sort of neoclassical part that may remind some fans of what Jason Becker and Marty Friedman were involved with musically at the end of the 1980s. At least, that’s the influence that I can detect. In spite of the somewhat morbid lyrics, the song itself is one of the strongest in this album because of that melodic section. “Monolith” is also one of the good songs of this album as lyrically this song is about what happens after nightfall as creatures roam the land. There is also a section that kind of reminds me of The Gathering (band) even though this is a much heavier kind of song obviously. “Onwards to Fire” is a song that has a fast, progressive guitar section at the end as the sound fades into the next song.

Final Thoughts About This Band's Debut Album

This album shows that just because Schizophrenia is a band from a small European country that does not mean that they cannot accomplish big things. It may take you a little while to comprehend the vocals and find out the lyrics if you don’t have them nearby but there is little to complain about the finished product from these Belgians.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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