Written by: PP on 10/09/2015 22:15:54

The art of the riff. That's something that Copenhagen based Inacave have discovered big time on their self-titled debut album, produced by Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames / Meshuggah). Throughout eleven tracks and 52 minutes, the band pummel through one chilling riff after another, demonstrating not just awesome fretwork but also a great capacity to vary, to twist, to shred, and to captivate the listener within the instrumental department. That action is not just limited to the killer guitar riffs; the bass is likewise shown no mercy by Mikkel Elbo who slays his instrument in a thick, rumbling manner that's somewhat unconventional for metal bands. Typically, other groups tend to merely follow the guitar lines to give the sound some down-low oomph, whereas on "Inacave" Elbo gives the instrument and subsequently Inacave's expression a breath of fresh air in the process.

That said, some of the criticism aimed at the album certainly holds water. It's basically worshiping at the altar of Lamb Of God's groove metal throne, thus also drawing parallels to Pantera material. The good news about that is that the guitar department easily measures up: these riffs are bloody great and leave the listener with a sore neck from non-stop headbanging movement. Indeed, it's safe to say you probably can't call yourself a metal head if you don't find yourself violently nodding your head up and down throughout the course of the album. The riffs are both engaging and inventive, leaving a distinct mark between tracks on the record. That takes a certain type of songwriting prowess to successfully implement, so kudos to Inacave's instrumentalists for forging such a convincing and mean-sounding expression overall.

But--and there's always a but--here's the bad news. As you've probably noticed, the vocals haven't mentioned at all here. That's because they are awful and simply don't measure up with the overall quality of the record. Growler Daniel Lønberg doesn't possess a similarly thick and low-end growl as Randy Blythe, so his attempts at replicating such a ground-shattering yet decipherable and powerful growling style regrettably fall short. Instead, we get an expression that's easily recognizable as sheer imitation, but not of the flattering kind. The growling range is unvaried throughout, standing in stark contrast to the guitars that continuously challenge the listener and demand his or her attention, thus resulting in a boring and monotonous vibe that doesn't do the record any favours. Even metalcore style shrieking or screaming would've been a better option in these circumstances. This is probably why the vocals also stand somewhat faded against the guitars, as the band must be aware of their limitation and thus rightfully shift the spotlight on the instrumentals instead. Wise choice, but unfortunately not enough in this scribe's opinion. With a better vocalist, they could easily climb towards the highest scores on our rating scale, which is usually an impressive feat by a Danish metal band. However, "Inacave" is merely their debut album, so let's give them the benefit of the doubt.


Download: Weight Of The Boulder, 3, Dirt
For the fans of: Lamb Of God, A Life Once Lost, Chimaira, Morbid Angel, Pantera
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.04.2015

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