Minnesotan quintet, Incinerate, play the type of unrelenting brutal death metal (BDM) that feels like a surgeon performing a lobotomy on you with a DeWALT power drill. As purveyors of this style for twenty years, they show no signs of slowing down on Sacrilegivm. You’re in for a treat if BDM is your thing. For the rest of us, um… Let’s just say it’s a bruising experience that we might want to avoid for the sake of our own health.
For once, this reviewer is going to review a BDM/slam band without mentioning Suffocation – oh, wait a minute… Damn… Okay, the point is Incinerate give you the full BDM works if you like your Cryptopsy blast beats and Deeds of Flesh guitar chugs. And, of course, you weren’t expecting the vocals to penetrate beyond the lowest bass scale of E2 to E4, were you?
As with any BDM album it starts with much promise. ‘Lux in Tenebris’ is a hurricane of sonic destruction, all double-kick drums and death metal riffs with fretless bass and crunchy guitar downstrokes. It’s clear by the excellent track three, ‘Trumpets of War’, that the aim is to bludgeon, yet this composition explores the guitar neck beyond the eighth fret and will remind you of the lead melodies off the last album from Once Human. ‘Thrown into the Fire’ is just as riveting with some world-class blasting from Phil Cancilla behind the drum stool. Bassist, Sasha Wilczynski, also adds the occasional technical bass fill (see ‘Inexorable’), but guitarists, Ted Isac and Jared Deaver, are the lead torturers. Every song has a meaty downstroke or rapid-fire alt-picking riff attacking the bottom two strings of their instruments. As for vocalist, Jesse Watson, well, you wouldn’t want to look at him the wrong way in a bar. He will fucking kill you!
Sacrilegivm has all the components for a quality extreme metal album but suffers from the main defect of a standard BDM record – the tedium sets in at the half-way mark. With no variation in sound or tempo it begins to sound like the annoying road drill twenty yards from your house where the men in high visibility jackets and ear defenders are filling in potholes. Everything from ‘Fleeting Opulence’ to ‘Cenotaph of Celestial Corpses’ could be one long song of indistinguishable brutality. The compositions are too heavy to send you to sleep, but they will make your mind wander until you realise nineteen minutes passed by without anything of note. Maybe a sweep-picking guitar solo will grab your attention if you’re still tuned in to the mechanised mayhem.
Only on last track, ‘A Lamentation to the Fallen’, do Incinerate offer something new. This is a wonderful passage of delicate acoustic arpeggios with weeping pitch bends and the swishing sounds of the shore in the background. A couple more of these interludes would give the album some variety and prepare us for the exertions ahead, like the water stands you can call on when running the London Marathon.
Incinerate are good at their craft, but ten songs of unadulterated brutality can wear down even the most resilient followers of extreme metal.
Release Date: 09/10/2020
Record Label: Comatose Music
Standout tracks: Lux in Tenebris, Thrown to the Fire, Absence of Divine Power
Suggested Further Listening: Dying Fetus – Killing on Adrenaline (1998), Chancroid – Bestial Perverse of the Anomalies Psychoneurotic (2020), Skinless – Foreshadowing our Demise (2001)