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Finally capturing that live feel - 87%

Agonymph, June 13th, 2007

And there’s “I” number 7! Dew-Scented will probably never run out of I-words to name their albums after. And although all of the six I’s preceding ‘Incinerate’ were impressive, Dew-Scented has always been in their best shape on stage. However, ‘Incinerate’ actually succeeds in getting as close to that live-feeling as possible. That and the fact that the Germans sound more varied than ever makes ‘Incinerate’ their best effort so far.

When you first hear the album, you will notice something has changed right away. The production has been turned up a notch, as Andy Sneap has capably mixed this album. Hendrik Bache and recently returned Flo Müller solo more than ever and in addition, they have – together with drummer Uwe Werning – played around with tempo- and feel-changes a lot more than on any previous album. But all together, ‘Incinerate’ is unmistakably Dew-Scented, just taken to a higher level.

The sound of Dew-Scented will probably always remain unchanged. What you get will always be this “Deathy” Thrash Metal, played at a high tempo with a venomous bite. But where ‘Impact’ and ‘Issue VI’ lacked a little something (variation and aggression respectively), ‘Incinerate’ combines all of the elements that makes Dew-Scented one of my favorite bands to see live.

No, the changes are subtle. ‘Into The Arms Of Misery’ has a very traditional Thrash Metal feel to it and is therefore one of my favorite songs of the album and opening track ‘Vanish Away’ is probably the most complex song the band has ever recorded – and therefore I think it was a very daring move to open the album with it. For the first time ever, Dew-Scented works with an intro and an outro. ‘Exordium’ and ‘Exitus’ consist of the same riffs, but are perfectly mood setting, although I think ‘Exitus’ (the outro) should have been a little shorter. It makes the album sound full circle at the end.

But on the other hand, there’s also songs as ‘That’s Why I Despise You’, the first video of the album, is one of those typical Dew-Scented headbangers which are just one grinding mess from beginning to end. And there’s a lot of that too! With many other bands, this would have disturbed me, but Dew-Scented always does it with such sincerity and precision that I can’t help but love it. Although they have clearly been inspired by them, I think Dew-Scented is much better than Slayer!

Highlighting the album for me is the unbelievable speed monster ‘Aftermath’. In less than three minutes, the song destroys everything in and outside of the room you’ll be in at that moment. It’s just that there’s so many different riffs in the song, that I could hardly believe that it only lasted for about three minutes. And that’s positive! Who needs subtlety when there’s songs like ‘Aftermath’?

‘Incinerate’ also has some guest musicians that might be interesting for people who aren’t all that familiar with the band. Both Annihilator-shredder Jeff Waters and melodic Metal boy genius Gus G contribute a guitar solo to ‘Perdition For All’ and Kreator-mainman Mille Petrozza does a duet with Leif Jensen on ‘Retain The Scars’. However, despite my never ending respect for Mille, I think Leif sounds much more convincing on the latter.

Progression without radically changing the sound is possible, Dew-Scented has just proven that with ‘Incinerate’. I just wonder how these songs are going to sound live. It’s really going to be a Thrash party if these songs are even better than they are on the album!