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Incremate - Violence and Insanity - 95%

Edmund Sackbauer, October 16th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, German Democratic Recordings

One of my favorite findings of the past few months when it comes to quite unknown Old School Death Metal bands has been Incremate hailing from Germany. “Prospect of Death” has been an absolutely convincing release delivering a dose of plain fun DM and nothing else. Only 2 years later the second full length has just been released and I am happy to report that the sound of the band has not changed one bit.

The backbone of the sound are riffs that made some of their US peers so famous in the past but there are also subtle influences of a few European bands like the ever-present dark and unsettling feeling inherent in Grave albums or some of the slower yet irresistible grooves present in the music of Asphyx. The basic chops of each song follow a certain trademark structure that is slightly twisted and amended throughout the respective track. The great lead guitar harmonies work as counterpart to the stoic rhythm chords lending the music an atmospheric character by always being present in the background. Of course there are some soloing sections but those never distract from the flow of the songs and the whole album.

The drumming is tight and precise without being pushed too much into the foreground. Instead the man behind the kit offers cleverly placed details highlighting certain moments where needed. Like on the first record the instrumentation is flawless without the musicians ever losing themselves in redundant wankery. The songs are written in a very stringent and accessible way making them immediately enjoyable for the consumer. I have the feeling that the songwriting might be just a bit more compact this time around and the single parts of the songs are woven together in a way to make each song stand on its own feet.

Comparing the 2 records I think that the growls by singer Ronald have become even more powerful. His commanding and brutal delivery is pushing the music further forward and often helps ramping up the intensity of the whole affair up a notch or two. However, the lyrics can be perfectly understood and while he stays in the same range for the whole record there is not one moment of boredom as this style is exactly what the music asks for. This guy surely got the pipes to become one of the bigger names in the scene.

The production is once again powerful and raw at the same time. The technical capabilities of the modern times have been used to give the sound a punchy and clear character without sacrificing any of the putridity that fans of OSDM enjoy so much. The guitars are crunchy and the drums have a very organic feeling. With a well-balanced mix all elements can be heard in full detail.

The cover artwork is also fantastic kept in the same slightly cartoony style as the first record. All is left to say is that “Violence and Insanity” is one of the big highlights when it comes to OSDM in 2018 and should be checked by any fan of this style.