INCINERATE: Back To Reality
Release year: 2021
Label: Dead By Dawn Records/Spirit Coffin Publishing
Let’s take a look at the promo sheet once again. Here’s a summary of what it says: old school death/thrash, brutal and authentic late 80’s sound, for friends of… hey wait a minute, now I’m intrigued! Sepultura! And off you go to the review queue.
For once, the promo sheet isn’t full of superfluous words of praise. It’s simple, straight to the point and, for once, correct! Refreshing.
So, Incinerate from Belgium. A trio, whose chosen style is indeed an old school mix of thrash metal and death metal. Back To Reality is their second album – but the band have been together since 2008! Well, no wonder then that this sounds quite mature and tight.
From the go, this truly does remind me of old Sepultura. There is a definite spiritual kinship to both Schizophrenia and Beneath The Remains… maybe not so much Morbid Visions, though. In other words, musically the album leans definitely towards thrash metal, but the gruff vocals and occasional hammer-smashing riff is the kind of archaic death metal that is basically just Slayer with an extra oomph. The end result is somewhere between early Death, early Sepultura, classic Slayer and Possessed. Not a bad pack of bands to namedrop, eh!
I guess you won’t be surprised when I tell you that no, Incinerate don’t manage to do one over their influences. But, considering that’s nearly impossible, the guys can be more than satisfied with what they’ve achieved. Because this really is very competent death/thrash that sounds old school, but not like a cheap knock-off. You can certainly spot the influences in the sound, but Incinerate have crafted an album that packs some real punch. Original this isn’t, but good.
There’s really not that much more to say here. The sound is full and powerful, certainly far better than many of the old bands had in the day, but it still radiates that authentic feel. Especially how those drum fill plods sound… well, they sound like on Schziophrenia. I just love that sound. There are plenty of razor-sharp riffs in a very classic thrash style, and overall the songwriting is pretty tight. No iconic riffs or particularly memorable songs on here, though.
All in all, though, despite these minor shortcomings, Back To Reality is a fine little album. I’d go so far as to say that fans of the sound need to check this out. Maybe not a classic of coming years, but nevertheless an album worth your time.
Summary: Old school death/thrash with an authentic feel and a lot of punch. Yes please!