For their third full-length album, Up In Hell [minus HEAD Records], Incite took a look around. What they saw inspired the record’s intense, invasive, and infectious charge.
Vocalist Richie Cavalera explains, “We live Up In Hell nowadays. The world is getting crazier all the time. Nothing seems like it’s getting better. I felt like the song and the title perfectly encapsulated these days. We’re all on our own, and we have to survive.”
After coming off the road in support of 2012’s critically acclaimed All Out War, Richie found himself at a crossroads. Amidst a complete lineup change, he focused on restructuring the band’s creative process and live makeup. Bass player Christopher “EL” and drummer Lennon Lopez joined the ranks, forming a pummeling rhythm section.
Teaming back up with original member and New Jersey-based guitarist Kevin “Dis”, the frontman began sending ideas back and forth via email from his Phoenix, AZ home. Song skeletons actually formulated in cyberspace this time around as well.
“Even though we weren’t in the same room, everything gelled perfectly,” Richie explains. “We let the songs evolve, and everybody added his own imprint. It worked.”
With those songs in hand and Dru Tang becoming part of the fold, the band retreated to Hideaway Studios in Los Angeles with award-winning producer Matt Hyde [Deftones, Slayer]. It marked their first experience with Hyde behind the board, and his input proved invaluable to both arrangement and recording.
“It was like nothing before,” says Richie. “He really pushed all of us to get to that next level. The big thing involved performance. Matt paid attention to the smallest and most minute details. He went through everything from top-to-bottom. It meant a lot to us to work with someone who cares about our music as much as we do.”
Hyde adds, “I love listening to the record we did because I love great riffs. This record has the kinds of riffs I would love to be able to play. Richie kills it on every song, and Lennon is a fucking beast on drums—which makes him every producer’s best friend.”
EL agrees, “Matt definitely took us out of our comfort zone, but the result is, in my opinion, the best Incite album to date.”
Their sound crystallized on songs like the title track. Fusing together bulldozing polyrhythmic thrash and guttural grooves, each element steamrolls in unison.
“This record solidifies our style,” Richie goes on. “The structure is straight-to-the-point. It’s a little shorter. We’re not making these crazy progressive passages. We let the riffs and parts shine.”
Elsewhere on the album, “WTF” brutally calls out naysayers with a striking and stirring hook. “I’ll come home and see old friends turn into douche bags,” he sighs. “They want to talk badly about me and my life. They’re just trying to get me down to make themselves feel better. It makes you want to say, ‘What the fuck?'”
“False Flag” examines government conspiracies via brutal percussive battery and a bludgeoning stomp. Then, there’s the album’s most emotional moment for Richie, “Fallen”.
“It’s got the most meaning for me,” continues the singer. “It’s about losing family and friends. It’s something everybody goes through. I’ve lost so many people. Right before we started making the album, a longtime high school friend passed away from a drug overdose. It was really heard. I took those emotions of losing something and put them in ‘Fallen’.”
“Rightful Spot” remains equally special. On this scathing and scorching vitriolic anthem, Richie trades vicious verses with none other than Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats and Axewound. It practically explodes on impact.
“We’ve always respected each other,” says Richie. “It came out perfectly. We wanted to go after haters and people who don’t respect our bands, lyrically. Outsiders think we’re just given everything. We both have felt that, so we wanted to get it out there.”
Incite remains one of the most formidable and fresh forces in heavy metal. They’ve toured alongside the likes of Dillinger Escape Plan, Soulfly, Throwdown, Cavalera Conspiracy, and more. Moreover, they’ve been extolled by everybody from Kerrang! and Revolver to ARTISTdirect. In addition, they’ve gone Top 40 on Sirius Metal Charts with tracks like “Army of Darkness” and the Devil’s Dozen on Liquid Metal with “The Aftermath”. Revolver also named All Out War its “Album of the Week” upon release.
Ultimately, Incite deliver tried-and-true metal with Up In Hell that fearlessly examines everything around them. Richie leaves off, “We’re a real band. We’ve busted our asses. We’ve never tried to do anything fake or bullshit. We’ve done this from the ground up. We want to carry the flag for metal.”