You know, it’s that time of year. I can’t do a Thanksgiving-themed blog because I’d get really sick of the turkey references and have to punch myself in the beak. INCANTATION are back after six years with Vanquish in Vengeance. It’s brutal, it’s death metal, it’s heavy, there are picked riffs that go into heavier parts, the vocals are raspy and tough, and there are solos. Never one to give into trends, they have been plying their trade for 20 years now. This is pretty good; you know, nothing crazy. You’re certainly not going to be blown away, and fans of this will dig it. The production is even halfway decent, as every instrument is clear and distinct, although there’s something in the production that takes a lot of the bite out of this. This is death metal to a “tion,” that’s for sure, and this is not Onward to Golgotha, but fair. 6 FUCKING PECKS.
Another band that’s back at it, SINISTER, hailing from the Netherlands, has been around for 20 years, and like the aforementioned Incantation, their sound and vibe hasn’t changed much. There are blasts, some melodic death riffs and guttural vocals. The Carnage Ending is cool--again, not awesome. It kind of get same-y after a little, and one kind of wonders why they're bothering at all. It’s definitely not the Sinister of old; the riffs, while good, don’t really sink in and grab you, and come across as bland after a couple of listens. Do yourself a favor and listen to Cross the Styx. This is a little more thrashy and less “brootal” than any American counterpart, but very much a death metal record. 5 FUCKING PECKS.
Let’s stay in the same vein here, SACRED REICH, the Arizona thrashers of yore, release Live at Wacken. Always coming across as a fourth-tier thrash band, this DVD/CD proves it. The riffs are staler than can be, and the energy level is almost nonexistent. I mean, who wants to sit through an entire set just to hear "Surf Nicaragua"? They never really were a terribly exciting band, and had some good songs, but really, c’mon. Apparently original drummer Dave McClain, now of Machine Head, stated “My kids need their dad more than the fans need a new Sacred Reich record," and he’s right. This type of thing is what bands do when they get back together, play a festival or two and want to milk the last remaining pennies out of the metal community. 3 FUCKING PECKS.