Groove metal is a label applied to so many bands these days, often all to easily by those trying to pigeonhole bands to a certain genre. The question often arises, do we need to go down to such a granular level to sort a band into a specific category. It is often questionable, but it still happens.
Incite release their new album Built to Destroy this week on minus HEAD records. The band and indeed the album are already being labelled "groove metal" but is that a fair categorisation?
Having been active for the best part of 15 years now, and despite high profile tours with the likes of Soulfly and The Dillinger Escape Plan the band haven't really broken the back of that mainstream metal audience. With Built to Destroy they intend to do just that.
Led by Richie Cavalera, the step son of Sepultura/Soulfly legend Max, this third line-up incarnation have been together for a solid five years now and have built on the foundations that Richie and the previous line-ups have put in place.
Opening with the title track for the album you can see why they are being labelled groove metal. It has the feel of classic Pantera and Burn My Eyes era Machine head. But there is more to it than that. The sound is stronger, thrashier, more violent, with hints of inspiration from early years Sepultura. Built To Destroy is a battle cry, calling brothers to arms against a stagnant metal scene of hipster infused melancholy.
The album is highlighted by Cavalera's gruff, raucous vocals, the passion within them and the force at which they are delivered is astounding. The whole sound of the album is well rounded and shows progression and development on the band’s behalf from previous releases.
Both 'Ruthless Ways' and 'Resistance' have a hint of the classic Machine Head sound and song writing ethos, but they take it further, Incite bring something else, sharper, more aggressive guitar work being the key and the driving force on this album.
Kirk Windstein (of Crowbar fame) adds a second guitar to 'Human Cancer' and whilst you might expect this to be a ditty dripping in Kirk's sludge mastery it turns into the exact opposite. The dual guitars add depth to the sound and a faster pace gives the song an overall death metal feel. Well-rounded and a standout from the whole recording.
From here the album gets darker and continues with that even more aggressive feel. If anything from this point on the album drops its groove theme and slots straight into traditional death metal, which is no bad thing. This theory cemented with Chris Barnes (Cannible Corpse) guest appearance on Poisoned by Power which is out and out brutality on record.
Overall, what is billed as a groove metal album, has actually turned out to be the surprise of the year so far. A well rounded extreme metal album which will work wonders in building anticipation for the bands Bloodstock Festival appearance this coming summer.