posted on 8/2011 By:
These days, most death metal is either relentlessly old-school or overwhelmingly complex and elaborate, which makes albums like Divine Incarnation all the more gratifying. A technically sound, but unabashedly grisly and ruthless exercise, the newest album by Supreme Pain is sure to appeal to many with its tasteful blend of old-school ferocity and modern songwriting and production advancements.
Supreme Pain’s brand of ominous extremity feels something like the ideal middle ground between mid-era Decapitated and Behemoth and the burly, raw aggression of early 90's Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, and Cianide. The production may be clear and the musicianship impressive, but intensity and atmosphere are the focus of Divine Incarnation, with all of its technical assets contributing to this end. Blast beats abound, but they’re offset by some devastating, intricate grooves (“The Fallen Kingdom”) and a healthy dose of thrashing energy, making the album a speedy and occasionally blistering affair that rarely feels monotonous. There’s some effective implementation of creepy Immolation-esque harmonics to complement the prominent use of foreboding tremolo runs, and the frequent guitar solos are nothing short of epic – the towering lead that opens up “Trapped In Heresy” is particularly inspiring. Add in some gruff bellowing vocals and you have all the ingredients for a rock-solid death metal outing.
My only real complaint is that the album is a little one-dimensional considering its forty-seven minute running time. The vocals never vary in tone and aside from a couple of brief atmospheric segments, there’s little in the way of changing it up as things progress from track to track, which means attention can drift by the time closer “Towards Hell” rolls around. Still, death metal fans burnt out on all of the hyper-speed tech bands and lumbering Incantation worshippers currently populating the scene should investigate Divine Incarnation immediately, as Supreme Pain is playing a very satisfying style that should resonate with anyone who fondly recalls the days when death metal wasn’t so firmly divided into old- and new-school camps.
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