Let’s not beat about the bush, chaps. Let’s talk about ‘riding on coat-tails’ and reputations casting a long shadow.
You really don’t have to have your finger on the metal pulse to recognise the kind of weight the name Richie Cavalera bears when it comes to our world. Bearing such a close connection to his stepfather Max and not only his Sepultura legacy, but also his very successful Soulfly output has thrown some rather derisory comments about Richie’s band Incite from some sections of our scene, suggesting strongly that the band’s exposure is solely due to the Cavalera ‘brand’.
This is, of course, utter bullshit. There is very little to connect Incite’s sound (aside from genre brackets) to Max’s output, and quite frankly, for all those who think Richie simply popped up in the industry over the last few years or so, chanced his arm at music and got instant unwarranted exposure… the man has been playing metal since the Nailbomb album when some of you were still contemplating the elephant pictures on your Huggies, so let’s simply label the criticism as utter nonsense, lay the issue to rest and talk about what really matters… the music.
Let’s start with what Incite’s sophomore album All Out War isn’t.
It’s not a slavish steal from either Soulfly or Sepultura’s sound. Yes, it’s inherently thrash, but the songwriting bears little to no resemblance to, say, Omen or Arise. Incite and All Out War is it’s own beast and a very seperate entity.
The band display a sound that feels in an odd way like a taster for the Incite live show; There are no progressive rock passages, no mood pieces and definitely no dreary metalcore ‘miserable piano/gang vocal’ interlude bollocks. What’s presented here is ten solid modern metal tracks (chunkily produced by ex-Machine Head member/now uber-producer Logan Mader) that are a pit-friendly mixture of groove metal, thrash riffage, and metallic hardcore beatdowns (which, I hasten to add, has no relation to metalcore, a tag that has shifted far from it’s origins; this is no Killswitch Engage).
Cavalera displays an eyewatering hardcore infused metal roar that suggests his tour rider contains little more than throat lozenges, and really goes for the gold throughout the album. The guitar work from Kevin “Dis” McAllister has absolutely no fat on it whatsoever. The riffs kick in and do their business with little in the way of pretence or lethargy, they make everybody listening in the room want to run around in circles and occasionally punch each other in a socially acceptable manner, and then the riffs get the hell out without outstaying their welcome. Drummer Zack Sofaly is a sturdy, heavy hitter that delivers a real backbone to the songs, and bassist Luis Marruto… plays bass. Actually, in all seriousness the rhythm section really revs up this set of tunes.
As I have already stated, these songs are prime pit fodder, and and for the most part the album plays more like a set list, but that doesn’t make it a dry experience at home. Opener Aftermath sums up the album perfectly; stripped to the essentials, bulldozing to the finish line with a thrashy groove dynamic that is heavy yet digestable. Second track 4ever Loko not only goes to show that Richie has inherited Max’s sense of lyricism, but also that the band have inherited his post-Roots sense of how to make a room bounce. The album continues in this vein; song after song come and go without filler, each being potentially floor-filling, until closer Consequences Of Life thrashes and bounces towards it’s five minute conclusion. It feels like the content on this album has been honed to a fine point on the road and slapped furiously onto disc.
While it is a noticable improvement from their debut album (The Slaughter), there is of course room for improvement as Intice’s songwriting that will naturally grow as the band does, and they add colour to their craft – for example, the jump in ability Machine Head had from The More Things Change to The Blackening enriched the sound without taking away from either era.
The more I listen to the album – a solid modern metal album with an old-school mid-90’s sense of dynamic – the more I realise the potential the band has for the future. The fact that it’s made me NEED to have the Incite live show in my life also helps.
Barrier security-worryingly recommended.