Incidium, by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs

Sometimes you have to wonder just how much exposure it takes to get some real recognition? Certainly it’s a question that Manchester neck-crackers Incidium could be forgiven for having cross their minds every now and then….

After all the band are no strangers to receiving a pat on the back for their work – having won the Whittles Battle of the Bands 2009, and more recently reached the grand final of this year’s ‘Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses’ competition amongst others, their blades must be more than a little red.

The catalyst for all these thumbs-ups from people who ought to be in the know, is a sound that has taken a melodic death metal as a start and stretched it into thrash and groove territory. Released in 2010, the band’s three-track EP still serves as a powerful demonstration of just what Incidium are like in action, as well as whipping up one hell of a hunger for a full length release.
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‘The Prophecy’ begins with a gentle The Haunted-esque incline, before stepping up the pace, not just once, but multiple times throughout. Together with the Randy Blythe growl of vocalist Gabe Mitri, this makes for brutal listening, tempered only by the technical capabilities of the band. Other influences are at work in the aptly monikered ‘Intoxicated Serenity’, beginning with the sort of riff that could have been dug out of the inner workings of Machine Head. Heavy and brooding in one instant, and then fast paced and frantic, ‘Intoxicated Serenity’ breaks with all the intensity of a thunderstorm.

Saving the best for last like someone who stashes away extra cake, ‘Divide & Conquer’ starts off clean, and very quickly gets down and dirty. Here, Incidium decide to really turn up the heat on their talent with harmonious guitar passages, galloping drums, and wind-mill riffs. The band appear adept at song construction, capable of sewing together different sequences with just the strings of a guitar, and rolls of the drum.

These aren’t short songs at an average length of around six minutes, but like the well-timed volume jumps of TV shows, Incidium seem to know just when your attention is about to flag and counteracts this with a musical wake up call. Although not the kind you’d probably find in up-market hotels – that is until Incidium occupying them. And if they can help it, that won’t be far away.

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