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Incarnit - "Umbra" (CD/EP)

Incarnit - "Umbra" CD/EP cover image

"Umbra" track listing:

1. Fade Into Oblivion
2. Black Death
3. Ritual
4. Come Revolution
5. Umbra

Reviewed by on June 30, 2012

"Bopping back and forth between thrash complexity, hardcore shouting and Alice In Chains harmony, Incarnit fills up the five songs of the 'Umbra' EP with a variety of styles."

Bopping back and forth between thrash complexity, hardcore shouting and Alice In Chains harmony, Incarnit fills up the five songs of the "Umbra" EP with a variety of styles. But, other than a bit of acoustic guitar symmetry between "Fade Into Oblivion" and the closing title track, the band doesn't manage to make the disc feel like a cohesive whole.

There's no doubt the band has chops to spare, especially guitarists R. Karlsson Nordberg and E. Hansen. The thrashy "Black Death" shows what the two can do, both in terms of riffs and rhythms and in the excellent wah-wah laced guitar solo that comes about three-quarters of the way through. It's easily the best tune on the album, with Nordberg's best vocals as well.

"Umbra," which closes the disc, is also a winner, alternating between Alice In Chains-style creepy harmonies giving way to hardcore shouting. Especially notable is the elegaic guitar solo. The fast "Ritual" is also good, though not quite as impressive as "Black Death."

Somewhat less impressive is "Come Revolution," in which the shouting gets old. Though it's an old trick, the acoustic-guitar-turning-into-harsh-electric bit gets a decent workout on "Fade Into Oblivion," but the plodding song was the wrong one to start the album on, and robs subsequent tracks of energy as a result.

The production is pretty good on this EP, with R. Sundqvist's drums and J. Gustafsson's bass having plenty of heft.

All in all, Incarnit's "Umbra" is a solid listening experience, with some moments of greatness. Sure, there is a big sequencing issue and the songs don't quite seem to fit together, but it's a pretty good EP nonetheless.

Highs: "Black Death" and "Umbra"

Lows: "Fade Into Oblivion" and "Come Revolution"

Bottom line: A solid thrasher with some moments of greatness.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)