The part-Brazilian, part-German death metal band Incarceration have compiled a discography that includes a pair of splits, an EP, and a 2016 debut album named Catharsis. To that collection of releases they are now adding a new EP entitled Empiricism that’s set for release on Friday of this week (April 16th) by Dawnbreed Records.
On this newest effort the band’s core duo of Daniel Silva (who performs vocals and bass on this release) and Michael Koch (drums) are joined for the first time by guitarists Pedro Capaça (Violator) and Alex Obscured (Speedwhore, Obscured by Evil). Whether for that reason or others, the band seem to have thrown themselves without reservation into the most furious and unhinged side of their sound.
And thus, as you’ll discover through our full streaming premiere today, the new EP generates adrenaline-fueled mayhem with explosive, savage power, although that ruthless, visceral intensity is accompanied by spectral leads and coruscating solos that generate a frightening aura of the occult.
The music also benefits from a no-frills production that emulates the raw, natural sound of a practice space or a packed club.
The EP opens with Empiricism’s longest track. At nearly 8 minutes in duration, “Chthonic Pulse” draws us in with the slow swell of acoustic guitar and ringing mystical tones — which then transforms into an assault of hammering snare-drum and vicious, roiling, distorted riffage that becomes increasingly unhinged as the equally maniacal screaming vocals make their own frightening impact.
The tension and rampant turmoil in the music are scary, though the fleet-fingered fretwork channels anguish as well as madness. The band do pick their moments to vary the rhythms, and eventually to silence them as a prelude to a slow, staggering march, each step a powerful detonation, with guitar leads that ring like grief-laden funeral bells and eerie, wrenching wails from the vocalist. The transformation is striking, and so is the paroxysm of violence that suddenly erupts before a final wash of weird flickering tones that forms the finale.
Launched by grand fanfare-like chords, feverishly trilling leads, and bursts of explosive drumming, “Psychic Totality” surges into a savage attack, with Silva rabidly barking, the riffing boiling and blaring, Koch administering a pitiless beating, and guitar leads spearing out of the music in scintillating tones, capped by a warping and wailing solo that sounds like a deranged spectre. The driving, superheated pulse of the music is electrifying, and the roiling, abrasive mass of the guitars is crazed.
Even though “Psychic Tonality” provides no real break in the music’s intensity, the band remain on the attack in “Beneath the Chains of Existences“, again powered by an agile, attention-grabbing drum performance, crashing cymbals, raw and riotous vocals, and blazing guitars. But the band do shift gears, segueing into a sequence of jabbing, chugging guitars and neck-popping drum-beats, accented by another weird and wailing solo and by soaring bursts of melody that create a feeling of terrible eminence.
To close, the band bring us “Chasms of Metaflesh“, the only song of the four that hadn’t premiered before today. Although its tremolo’d riffing is as vicious as ever, the mood of the music is as bleak and heartless as a sucking chest wound. The pop of the snare is more measured at first, though the vocals are just as deranged as ever. However, after a brief pause, the band unleash hellfire again, the double-kicks hammering, the guitars undergoing violent seizures. The band briefly shift gears here as well — just before the wildest guitar solo on the EP and a resurgence of the musical conflagration that Incarceration do so very well.
Incarceration present the EP in these words:
“The concept of Empiricism deals with our personal journey towards the inevitable and all therein that may be explored. A catalyst from the depths of the subconsciousness.
“Through conquest and manifestation of the mind inside a dying vessel, we want to strengthen the passion and willpower in the here and now. It is a monumental Fragment that reflects our pilgrimage into the nucleus of our individual existence.”
“Liberate / Transmutate / Remanifest”
Empiricism is adorned by cover art created by Rodrigo Salvatierra, and each song has its own illustration by Jenglot Hitam. It is being released on vinyl, CD, cassette tape, and digital formats. And it’s recommended for fans of such bands as Possessed, Sadistic Intent, Morbid Angel, and Repugnant.