Sunday, April 19, 2015

Inculter - Persisting Devolution [2015]

Norway is a fertile harbor for not only its chief export of black metal, but also for a recent upsurge in bands which claim immunity from being stringently pigeonholed into either one of the black, thrash or speed metal genres, and hence exposing themselves to the market shamelessly as 'black/thrash', drawing their influences not just from such antiquarians of primal evil such as Bathory, Venom or Hellhammer but also younger acts like Nekromantheon, Deathhammer and Aura Noir, also haling from Norway. Needless to say, Inculter is another one of Norway's breed of frolicsome evil, a compelling two-piece running on the strength of merely an EP and a demo, with a new record that hardly eschews the kind of rifftastic profanity purists seek in this niche. And to wit, the Norwegians create an infernal expanse of black and thrash metal that doesn't just scream 'Bathory', but actually secures its position as a record with some identity and simmering infernal magnetism.

''Persisting Devolution'' definitely moves a fraction beyond the 'stock' black/thrash offering as offered through the various records of Force of Darkness, Destroyer 666, Witchburner and the like, owing to the skippy, fraudulent quality of the riffs, at times sounding like a blackened version of Death Breath's ''Stinking Up The Night'' with frenetic, lashing chords and fantastic speed/thrash cutlery, always campy yet also genuinely disturbing. The tone and pace of the album are perfect; it's sufficiently lo-fi, rugged enough cook skewed human flesh on, if you're into some analogy, but still clear enough as to hearing the excellent slew of riffs which the Norwegians propagate, reaching paces fast enough to keep up with one ''Reign in Hell'' or ''Horrified''. Make no mistake folks: this as 80's as you're going to get. The promise of denim, leather, spikes, motorbikes and auditory grime is just the cherry on top of the huge rotten cake of festering flesh and gnarly awesomeness, but unlike so many gimmicks undergoing a similar trajectory Inculter are abstrusely efficient with nearly not one second spared from the the album's razor-sharp array of riff-works and fanaticism. Remi's vocals are serpentine and gruesome to the bone with a clear nod pretty much any other band operating in this niche, but his inflection is ghastly enough to accrue frilly 80's anger and infernal fire at the same time.

Inculter's subscription to the art and literature of the black/thrash niche is more than convincing. The songs are all boisterous, fast and fleshy, from the choppy ''Mist of the Night'', to blistering speed metal rampage of  ''Diabolical Forest'' to the simply excellent ''Traducers Attack''; each track does not necessarily promulgate an entirely original or separate sense of evil or blasphemous delight, but there's so much fun to be had among the jumpy cascade of riffs, mutes, pluggy bass lines and cramped drum fills that one really cannot care all to much, especially with the existence of 2-3 outstanding pieces in the entire compendium. The closest thing I can cite to ''Persisting Devolution'' besides the regulars is probably Deathhammer's ''Onward to the Pits'' or Nekromantheon's ''Rise, Vulcan Specter'', although the former was more engrossed in heavy/black than anything else, and the latter was indefinitely heavier. It only goes on to show that the album is another great addition to the black/thrash vernacular. Even at the finale, ''Envision of Horror'', the dynamic evil is there. There's still plenty of space for Inculter to develop, but ''Persisting Devolution'' brims with youthful, daemonic energy; ignore at your own risk.

Persisting Devolution
Traducers Attack
Diabolical Forest
Mist of the Night

Rating: 80%

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