Whenever an established act loses its frontman, especially one as talismanic as Max Cavalera, fans are usually left choosing sides. Do you go with the musician striking out on their own or do your allegiances remain with the band? Largely dependent on the situation, an amicable split can leave listeners happily following both parties down separate paths to the promise of glory but when open hostility is at the heart of the separation, loyalties are often put to the test.Continue reading →
Formed in 2004 by Richie Cavalera, the stepson of former Sepultura frontman, Max Cavalera, Arizona groove thrashers Incite have undergone several changes in personnel during their eighteen-year existence but their edge has not been dulled even slightly. Wake Up Dead (Atomic Fire Records), the band’s sixth full-length studio album, is another seething mass of riffs and rage that sees the return of bassist Christopher “EL” Elsten and drummer Lennon Lopez while also welcoming guitarist Eli Santana to the fold.
Modern metal band Incite is gearing up for the release of their new album this week on January 25th, Built To Destroy, via Minus Head Records. The band has shared a fiery new video for their song ‘Resistance’ which you can watch right now.
“Actions speak as loud as words!” is the roared hook in ‘Leech’, a combustible, fist-swinging mid-album anthem, as Incite know that, five albums in, there is no resting on their laurels. One of a host of bands caught in a mosh, struggling and jostling for position to tip them from the mid-tier; definitely proficient but without that mainstream or commercial weight to establish them as true heavyweights in their field.Continue reading →
It was a celebratory mood as I waltzed into The Palladium for another go-around of “Metalfest”. My 10th time attending and 17th overall in the history of the fest proved to be one of the most fun I can remember. Sure festivals can be grueling, all weekend affairs, logistical nightmares and just exhausting. But it’s also like a family reunion in which you hate almost nobody. Lastly, I was lucky to work with Meg Loyal of Meg Loyal Photography all weekend, providing the awesome shots of the bands all weekend for Ghost Cult.
The venue was swelling with people when I arrived, and I was glad to see support for early first day acts such as Begat The Nephilim, Lody Kong, Downpour (featuring Shadows Fall, Unearth and Seemless guys), The Atlas Moth, and Fit For An Autopsy. I usually do a loop of the venue right when I get in. Checking out the vendors, meeting old friends and making some new ones, it’s always a blast.
Within The Ruins, by Meg Loyal Photography
Finally getting down to the main stage floor, Jamey Jasta’s solo JASTA set was just ending. Being a Connecticut guy and a Palladium regular, the place was packed and seemed to end the set on a high note. Checking out the merch tables in between bands, it was cool to see sponsors such as Tama and Ibanez offering cool contests anyone could win. I caught some of Within The Ruins’ set and they were killer, as a bunch of bro dudes punched each other silly in the pit. Settling in at the main stage to watch the rest of day one was a tough choice. I love Overcast and Code Orange, but they played opposite COC Blind, which I could not miss. Playing hits off of Blind, this entity of Corrosion of Conformity includes singer Karl Agell (King Hitter), drummer Reed Mullen, and guitarist Scott Little (King Hitter, Leadfoot) among others was in great form and the audience seemed to enjoy the cuts much deeper than ‘Vote With A Bullet’.
Death Angel, by Meg Loyal Photography
Next up were thrashers Death Angel. It seemed like they might be more at home on the Saturday bill with their Bay Area brethren, but they killed anyway. Playing a short set of mostly recent tracks, they nearly stole the show on day one. Following them was Cavalera Conspiracy. A long changeover seemed to stall the momentum, but there was a lot of excitement to see Max and Igor play together once again. I spent a lot of time focusing on Igor, since watching him play is a treat for me. The set leaned heavy on the “hits” of CC, as well as choice Sepulutra jams and a Nailbomb song featuring Richie Cavalera on vocals.
Cavalera Conspiracy, by Meg Loyal Photography
The Red Chord, by Meg Loyal Photography
The Red Chord was next and I was pumped up to see them, since I missed the band in their last few comeback shows. They played a set heavy on their masterwork album Clients (Metal Blade) and one new song. Again, the deathcore brings out the crazy pit ninjas en masse. Guy Kozowyk was in great form, as the was the entire band who has been missed much.
Between The buried and Me, by Meg Loyal Photography
Closing out the night was Between the Buried And Me. While I really appreciate the North Carolinian prog metallers, (who gave a neat shout out to COC), I have never been a rabid fan. On this night they played the best set I have ever heard from them. They had a sweet production of video screens, smoke and lighting. Not only was their choice of songs slick, but their pacing and patience as a band has really risen up to the level of the veterans that they are. For an added bonus just for the Metalfest crowd, the band closed with a cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Except for Paul Waggoner playing the iconic piano parts on guitar (of course), the band became Queen, with Tommy Rogers transforming into Freddy Mercury; immaculate right down to his stage moves, voice, and half a mic-stand. The entire venue was singing and some people were crying too. It was an unforgettable end to Day 1.
Between The Buried and Me, by Meg Loyal Photography
Between The Buried and Me, by Meg Loyal Photography
You expect nothing less than brutality from the name Cavalera and Up in Hell (Independent), the third long-player from young Richie Cavalera (step-son of Max)’s outfit Incite, has the family stamp all over it; the young whippersnapper’s voice carrying the savage delivery to another generation. It’s a largely new band surrounding Master Cavalera and it makes for a fresh, dynamic sound, albeit one occasionally affected by the oft-maligned traits of metalcore. The opening title track and ‘Still Here’ are amongst a glut of tracks possessing the breakdown elements of both Pantera and August Burns Red. This is allied to a vicious ‘core sound, with accompanying post-hardcore lead strains most reminiscent of Danish upstarts Contrition. New drummer Derek Lopez switches the pace expertly, giving the scything pummel of ‘WTF’ a convoluted edge in the bridges, the buzzing riffs complementing Cavalera’s coruscating scour perfectly.
It’s an enjoyable if occasionally generic sound which will undoubtedly appeal to those youngsters who want to take the next step into extremity from Black Veil Brides and their depressingly sterile ilk. In truth, that variation from Lopez saves the album from dropping into a mundane world, as without him the tracks would appear a little repetitive, with precious few hints of invention to save it from a reliance on mere hostility and that redeeming groove. ‘Losing Grip’ is the sticksman’s standout track, the ferocious pounding switching from cavernous double kicks to blastbeats while all the time dictating a fulminating swerve through some pulverising riffs.
There’s a real feeling of class here too; the barrelling menace of ‘Fallen’ is DevilDriver-esque, complete with a technically adept but cold solo, whilst the vicious furrows of ‘Rise to Greatness’ & ‘Who Am I’, the former featuring some intricate and profound lead work, really spice things up and show a deeper quality to Richie’s voice.
This is a powerful showing, full of bristling anger and intent, but more innovation and maturity of sound would have kept some of its blunt edges sharp. Richie’s been at this game a while now and, whilst far from instilling boredom, it’s time for him to develop a sound that marks him out.