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The local Aussie metal scene is alive and kicking in every major city and country town across this vast land. Propelled by Aussie metal bands who have found success both here and abroad, the ultimate goal is being signed by a major record label and spreading the word of metal in populated festivals such as Wacken, Ozzfest and the Download Festival.
Unfortunately in Australia (and all countries I would imagine), there are hundreds of metal bands who are slaving away, playing at clubs and bars to sometimes just 30 people (half of which are family and friends) and are not getting recognised or receiving adequate credit. Independent radio station, Triple J and its “Unearthed” venture is helping music fans find these unknown and unsigned bands and so far it has been working. It is tough out there, because the majority of these bands we wouldn’t even know of unless we stumble upon their Myspace/Facebook page or just happen to be in these clubs or bars when they are up there sweating under the lights, doing what they love best.
One of the hundreds out there is going to get some recognition today, and I speak of Melbourne’s Incrypt. Formed back in 2000 by vocalist and main song-writer, Mars Vali, the band released two demos (in 2000 and 2002) before doing something that most unknown bands hardly ever get to do – professionally produce and release a full-length studio album. This was achieved in 2010; with the debut CD entitled ‘Masterpiece’. Patience is a virtue in this industry as 10 years is a long time to keep plugging away before finally releasing an album. The remaining members of Incrypt include drummer Byron, bassist Jesse and guitarists Darryl and Damien.
Incrypt are best described as a traditional heavy metal band, with a slight old-school sound and a balance of thrash metal in the mix for good measure. Ultimately as their legacy, Incrypt are looking to make a footprint, having a presence and achieving a sound all their own. In short – Incrypt just want to keep it real. Recently the band has been playing their metal material in the popular watering holes around Melbourne, including DV8 in the CBD, the Pelly Bar in Frankston and Ruby’s in Belgrave. Seeing them firsthand at the Pelly Bar, I can say that Incrypt have a very good stage presence, quite energetic and perform at a high quality.
As for the debut album, ‘Masterpiece’, the first thing that I noticed was the amount of professionalism put into the release. It’s been produced very well and was recorded at Salt Studios in Melbourne. The album has 10 tracks in total and all of them are of a consistent quality across the board. Mars’ has a great voice really suited for heavy metal, his throaty and gruff vocals really stands out, especially when he lets out a growl or two during certain songs. The tracks vary in speed, ranging from mid-paced to quick but not overly speedy. The drum beats in all the tracks are quite solid too, including rolling and marching blasts to double bass fury. Much like the drumming, the guitar riffs are much like you’d expect to hear from a thrash/heavy metal band; chunky and crunchy, hitting the mark and making your head bang in approval.
Tracks that stood out to me more so than others include the album opener and title track “Masterpiece”, which starts off with a twin guitar riff, followed by a bellowing howl from Mars and the mid-paced head-banging riff and beat begins. Nothing too technical, just raw heavy metal that is effective in every way. “Dark Shade” is more of an up-tempo track compared to the others, with fierce, almost angry vocals from Vali. The track has a memorable chorus, particularly due to the drum blast and riff bursts.
“Reality Show” has another kick ass main riff and drum pattern, almost hypnotic, that you just can’t stop from nodding your head to. Again, the chorus is catchy and it’s one of the better tracks overall as it contains quite a few tempo changes throughout, giving it a complex and mature sound. “One God” has an exceptional brooding marching riff, reminiscent of 80’s thrash, while “Battle of Cronos” is (in my opinion) the best track on the CD. Gruff vocals, double bass drumming (in parts) and just awesome guitar riffs, the best of which is during the verses and come out in short bursts, much like “Dark Side” as mentioned earlier.
Overall, Incrypt can have a successful future in front of them if they can continue making solid efforts like ‘Masterpiece’. I know it must be extremely hard to break into the market when a great deal of the metal population have not yet heard of the band, but hopefully with enough gigs, help from promoters, airplay on independent radio stations like Triple J and positive reviews like this one can help these unknown and unsigned bands get to where they want to go. There are many more to be discovered but this review is all about Incrypt, a local Melbourne metal band keepin’ it real and workin’ their asses off in the process.
Originally written for www.themetalforge.com