posted on 12/2007 By:
Cookie-cutter death metal act Incendiant hails from Salt Lake City and is signed to a label out of Jordan. (They’re the first non-Middle Eastern band on Jordan River Entertainment’s roster.) Of their labelmates, I’m completely unfamiliar with Ajdath, but I am familiar with killer Lebanese death/grinders Oath To Vanquish, whose Applied Schizophrenic Science absolutely rips circles around Incendiant.
So where does Incendiant go wrong? Well, first off, the drumming sucks. The drums are too loud in the mix, and the kick flutters through most of the record. It drags mostly, and it speeds up at times, but it only occasionally keeps a steady beat in time with the rest of the band. The fact that it’s too loud and clicky only adds insult to injury. That lazy-footed performance makes the whole record slightly off-kilter, alternately rushed or slowed, and it makes the blast-beating more stuttering than pummeling. (Witness the groovy riff at 0:05 in “Broken And Bowing” that spluttered when it should have splattered.) It also gives the record a distinct sloppiness that detracts from the necessary power and punch, effectively taking a serious release and plopping it squarely back into demo territory.
While that issue is (ahem) instrumental in keeping Incendiant out of repeat-listening territory, there’s another problem at play: beneath the bad drum production, Incendiant, like so many of their peers, sounds like so many of their peers. This is death-metal-by-numbers, with the occasional glimpse of inspiration that can’t overcome the adversity of a bad recording. (The band shines most in the groovier moments when the kick isn’t ticking along in sixteenth notes, lilting behind the beat like a tickertape machine with a mechanical problem.) In all my twenty-plus listens, I could hardly tell you one song from the next, and when good riffs do come along—like the groovy parts in “Night Of A Thousand Knives” or the Dying Fetus-styled “Collapse Of The Light”—they’re promptly botched by the weak drumming. There’s potential here for Incendiant to make an acceptable Suffocation-clone death metal record one day, but they need to tighten up first. If they want to make an original record, one that goes beyond Suffocation-cloning, then they’ll have a few other issues to address…
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