Incite - Up in Hell - (8/10)
Published on December 17, 2014
Genre:Groove / Thrash / Hardcore
It took me awhile to bring myself to dive into the third album from Incite. My experience with their sophomore effort was lackluster to say the least and despite the presence of a Cavalera in the fold (Max’s stepson Richie Cavalera throws down some throaty screams for Incite), I was utterly underwhelmed with their last record All Out War. Luckily, the band has seemingly grown in their style and Up in Hell is a much more inclusive and vicious record overall, increasing the band’s songwriting abilities and focusing down on what made them intriguing to begin with…the groove.
Don’t let the Cavalera connection fool you, Richie and company are not simply riding on the coattails of Soulfly or Cavalera Conspiracy. In fact, Incite is more akin to bands like Throwdown or Sworn Enemy than anyone else. The modern hardcore influence is heavy handed in the writing and style of the record and when it works it does wonders for the band’s fist pumping anthems and headbanging grooves. The riffs are simply stronger this time around with their chunk grooves and occasional lean towards a deathy thrash metal sound (check out the mosh pit frenzy that is “False Flag” and its relentless pacing that is reminiscent of Dew-Scented) and it simply kicks the band up a notch. It also helps that the drums, despite some odd mixing, seem to gel with the general writing and hardcore influence better. On their last record, Incite felt like a band with elements that battled each other. Up in Hell displays a band wholly on the same page and delivering vicious thrash oriented hardcore like there is no tomorrow.
Up in Hell benefits from the simplicity of its writing. While not a quantifiable piece, this third album feels like it doesn’t try as hard to be catchy and hard hitting. It’s something as simple as the band keeping the diversity limited and punching through the basics. This allows songs with melancholic intros like “Fallen” to keep it moving and keep the energy flowing. Sure, it does occasionally make the album a bit of a one speed listening experience and the band could probably beef up their solo work a bit, but when it’s as fun and strongly executed as Up in Hell who am I to nitpick the work to get these results.
This third record from Incite may not be something for everyone with its ‘groove metal’ aesthetics, hardcore foundations, and one pace delivery, but it’s these back-to-basics that make Up in Hell worth listening to for those willing to dive in. It’s a step up in quality from the last couple of records and the band executes it shockingly well here. It comes highly recommended for those who enjoy the genre.