Four full-length albums and just over a decade into their existence, Incite have been through enough drama and lineup changes to last an entire career.
Those who remember a youthful Richie Cavalera joining his stepfather Max onstage in the late 90s will find it hard to connect the grizzled leader of this band with that fresh-faced young lad. Incite are reaching a point where potential has to be lived up to, and fast, and it’s hard to predict if Oppression is the record that will see them take a leap or a shuffle forward. On one hand this is an immensely satisfying, groove-laden metal album. The title track will have necks windmilling and craniums damaged as much as any heavy anthem, and Worst Of Me cherrypicks all the best elements of Richie’s famous stepdad’s past, and melds it into a brilliantly cohesive rager.
But, on the flip side, much of Oppression is fairly one-dimensional and still stands in the shadow of their more high-profile peers, like Devildriver, whose new album looks set to steal the attention away from Incite with their bigger fanbase and greater command of musical dynamics. That isn’t to say, though, that this is the work of a bad band.
It’s just that if Incite want to be spoken of in similar terms as contemporaries such as Lamb Of God, they still have some way to go. Oppression is the personification of workmanlike.