The Slaughter

Written by: AP on 23/12/2009 23:20:54

When your father is Max Cavalera, two things are almost certain. One is that you will tell anyone and everyone in the vicinity that you are Max Cavalera's offspring. The other is that you are destined to a life surrounded by the heaviest music known to man, and at some point this probably involves making a career out of it. There simply is no fathomable scenario where you would find yourself trading stock in the City, or operating a tumor out of somebody's spine. With Sepultura, Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy - some of the manliest, most violent, and uncompromising metal bands to have trod this Earth - as your icons, chances are that slowly your inevitable exposure to it will turn into fascination with it, lead you to an instrument, and result in you forming your own band which subscribes to the family's thrash metal doctrine.

Incite is the result of this process of inevitable indoctrination. The band is fronted by Max Cavalera's stepson, Richie, and plays music that's going to be compared to Sepultura whether he wants it or not. Good to see the band hasn't buckled under the pressure though, and still written a respectable, self-standing lot of balls-to-the-walls metal. Thrash, with influences from hardcore and death metal, to be more specific, much in the vein of Hatesphere (but more melodic) and to some extent also Lamb of God (but only at their darkest - think "Descending" for an example). Obviously the music also owes a great deal to the old school of post-thrash, Pantera and Sepultura, but without the drumming prowess of Iggor Cavalera present in the mix, the similarities to Sepultura and Cavalera Conspiracy are present almost exclusively in Richie's vocals, which mimic Max's in more ways than one would like them to. Sure, Richie's testosterone-fueled roar fits music like this like a round butt suits J-Lo, but it becomes trite fast, and I find myself focusing on the fantastic instrumentation instead. Richie has also adopted Max's infamous lyricism, which is about as eloquent as a poem written by Eric Cartman would be, so the songs tend to be about blood and zombies and shit.

But then, the point of bands in which one or more Cavaleras are involved always tends to be to spinkick your face in rather than tickle your poetic sensibilities. In that respect, "The Slaughter" succeeds completely. The Children of the Corn inspired artwork, the disquieting intro track, which consists of an amplifying heartbeat and the sudden explosion of hysteric screaming as some chaotic, violent event unfolds, and the sheer, relentless intensity that governs the album creates a genuinely unsettling atmosphere in which concepts like happiness and comfort are utterly unwelcome. The music sounds delightfully murderous, and not in a shallow, for-show kind of way. Listening to songs like "The Slaughter", "Army of Darkness" and "Rage", there is a disturbing amount of conviction in Richie's psychotic rage, like he means every word of his unholy preaching and would like nothing more than to jag a butcher knife into your cranium.

Instrumentally the album follows along similar sentiments, with melodic, but extremely dark leads soaring over pummeling, hardcore-influenced drumming - and it is here that Incite set themselves apart from their density- and groove-oriented influences. In fact, next to the open chord chugging of most Cavalera Conspiracy songs, Incite sounds more like an out of control Lamb of God (probably due to an identical guitar tone) - which adds the final triangle to our pentagram of influences for Incite: old school death metal, thrash, post-thrash, Southern metal and hardcore. The amount of namedropping that has occurred in this review should, as far as I understand, have wet the pants of anyone of a man-metal complexion, and I urge them all to check this disc out. I realize albums like these are way out of my ballpark, but the more seasoned thrash metal enthusiasts on this site would probably agree that we have here a damn solid piece of the genre, and an excellent debut album at the very least. What else can we expect from a Cavalera man?


Download: Army of Darkness, Time For A Change, Rage

For the fans of: Cavalera Conspiracy, Hatesphere, Lamb of God, Sepultura, Throwdown

Listen: Myspace

Release date 02.11.2009

I Scream Records

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