Even though they are on their third record I had never heard anything from INCITE until I received a copy of this new one Up In Hell (thanks, Natalie!), and I have to say I wish I had, because this is an ass-kicking band with sick grooves made to be played live. Fronted by one Richie Cavalera (Max’s stepson) and his searing vocals capable of skinning a cat INCITE boasts smashing, thrashing riffs, pounding bass and drums, and songs just made for headbanging. The biggest thing though has got to be the riffs. They are relentless. As soon as I popped the disc in I knew I had a good one on my hands. And while it’s not breaking any new ground it is a hellacious slice of modern thrash guaranteed to wreck some necks. And quite frankly, that’s all I need sometimes!
The title track also serves as the opening salvo with some tight and precise drums from Lennon Lopez to go with “Dru Tang” Rome and Kevin “Dis” nasty guitar work. The riff machine is hot and ready on this and every other track, but this is definitely the way to open a thrash record. “WTF” has an attitude reminiscent of some early EXODUS meets SLAYER and is one of the album’s best. Two songs in and I can’t say enough about the top notch production. Up In Hell was produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Matt Hyde (DEFTONES, SLAYER, HATEBREED) resulting in a perfectly balanced sound; you can clearly hear bassist Christopher “EL” right up there with everything else, and nothing gets lost in the shuffle. Quite a challenge on some records these days. The march continues with “False Flag” Cavalera’s voice getting somewhat higher with a bit of a screech to it, especially at the end.
Up next is “Fallen” with some ringing chords to set an ominous tone before it takes off at a gallop and a chorus that mirrors the guitars. We change the tempo up a bit for “Rightful Spot” with a guest appearance by Liam Cormier of CANCER BATS and the following song “Rise to Greatness” serves to only rev the engine harder while dishing out the best solos on the disc. The beginning of “Who Am I” is likely to have audiences pumping their fists shouting “HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY!” along with the kick drum and a snake-like guitar lick wraps itself around the song and squeezes ever so slightly. After the pure rage of “Still here” two more favorites follow this in “Losing Grip” which chugs along with authority while smashing heads in, and closer “To the Depths,” an exercise in complete and total misdirection from intro to the body of the song. I had zero idea of where it was headed and I always love that. It also slides perfectly right back into the title track on your next listens.
All in all I am a big fan of this album and an even bigger fan of INCITE. As soon as I can tear myself away from this release I will investigate their other two albums. But for now this fucker’s gonna be on REPEAT for a while. Oh, and Mini-Amps gave his seal of headbanging approval a few hours ago making our fandom official. Up In Hell is available now via Minus HEAD Records. If you’re looking for something that’s angry, groove-laden, and has a great mix of styles, then this is the band for you.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “WTF”, “Rise to Greatness”, “Losing Grip”, “To the Depths”, “Up In Hell”