Whom Gods Destroy – Insanium (Album Review)

Review of the debut album from Whom Gods Destroy – Insanium

by Mike Giordano

Once upon a time, a prog supergroup formed featuring some of the most technically proficient and energetic musicians in the genre. Sadly, due to the disease-that-shall-no-longer-be-mentioned, Sons of Apollo, the supergroup consisting of Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Jeff Scott Soto, Derek Sherinian, and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal ended up being fairly short-lived after their tour was cut short in 2020. However, much like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a portion of the group has come together to form a new group.

Whom Gods Destroy is the new band featuring the aforementioned keyboard maestro Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Black Country Communion) and guitar virtuoso Bumblefoot (Guns N Roses). Joining them on this venture are Bruno Valverde on drums, Yas Nomura on bass and rounding out the group on vocals is Croatian singer Dino Jelusick (Trans Siberian Orchestra touring, Whitesnake). Certainly, Derek and Thal’s talent’s are legendary, but how does this new project fare?

In a word? Brutal. I’m not quite sure I’ve been this knocked out by an album in a very long time. The debut single, “In the Name of War” (which coincidentally is also the first song on the album) absolutely sets the tone for what you will hear on the remaining songs on the album. The ominous classical piano intro leads into some deliciously sludgy guitar riffs before Dino comes in screaming like a banshee, and then leading into one of the catchiest choruses I’ve experienced lately. It’s an absolute monster of a track that takes no prisoners. The intensity continues with “Over Again”, delivering another aggressive performance. It isn’t until “Find My Way Back” that the listener gets a small reprieve from the intense riffs, and we get the album’s ballad. It’s certainly a standout track, featuring more emotional instrumentation, and Dino gets to show off why he’s a touring vocalist for Trans-Siberian Orchestra – just an absolute killer voice. Not straying from prog rules, “Hypernova 158” is an insane instrumental shredfest between Thal and Derek and one of the best instrumental tracks you’ve heard in a while.

Honestly, beyond the lead single, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect for the rest of the album. Hearing quite possibly the “angriest” prog-metal album in years wasn’t on my 2024 prog bingo card, but here we are. This album is the unexpected love child of Soundgarden, Pantera and Whitesnake. And really, that combination only really works thanks to the musicianship of the band. I had not been aware of Dino prior to this review, and quite frankly, I was blown away by his vocals. The power, intensity and range he has is just incredible and lends an emotional intensity to the instrumentation. Speaking of, Derek and Thal absolutely anchor the music. Sherinian, who I’ve always found to be one of the most effective keyboard/synth players out there, is absolutely unleashed on this album. While perhaps not as experimental with his synth patches as some may be accustomed to, his parts give an incredible depth and beef to the tracks. There’s several really fun moments where he and Thal trade riffs and solos back and forth. And speaking about Bumblefoot, his guitar playing is fantastic as usual. His ability to seamlessly switch back and forth between crunchy riffs, melodic solos and hyper fast shredding gives a terrific variety to these songs. While I’ve certainly emphasized the more well known members of this band, I’d be remiss in not mentioning Yes and Bruno, who do an absolutely fantastic job on the rhythm side of things and keep up the intensity with the rest of the band.

As a prog listener, we often times get in the mindset that the music should be more on the Genesis side of things. It’s always a nice wakeup call when these musicians choose to embrace their inner metal monster. This is a highly recommended album. And certainly, if and when this group tours, I anticipate their shows being an absolute sonic ride and a nonstop blast of energy,

Released on March 15th, 2024 on InsideOutMusic

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)

Order here: https://whomgodsdestroy.lnk.to/Insanium

Bruno Valverde – Drums
Yas Nomura – Bass
Dino Jelusick – Vocals
Derek Sherinian – Keyboards
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – Guitars

Support The Prog Report

If you like what we do please support us on Ko-fi


Subscribe to our email list: