Incassum - In Vain (2008) EP Review

By Pagan Tordengrav

Incassum came into being in 2004 and have not looked back since. Despite the obvious line-up changes they are now a solid unity and gaining serious recognition everywhere they play. The band is down to earth as you could possibly get; and it is a treat to see them live and in person. I know that In Vain was released in 2008, but after purchasing it at the band’s last gig at the Krazy House it seemed only fair that I write this review.

Imagine an angel that heavy metal music turns into a screaming banshee and you have Sharleen Kennedy. Her looks are angelic too, but once she starts singing her alter ego takes over: her face distorts into a demonic angel and she becomes a predator. Incassum deliver on all levels; acting out a superb stage show with inter-mingling personalities which play out tremendously well on stage. And the same can be said for their unique brand of fiery, and most definitely passionate, blend of technical metal that they produce as a band.

The Beckoning

Pumping and driving rhythms flurry to an extreme level of conscious. Superb evil vocal sung in duel effect offers angelic vocals too and such a compromise. You would hardly think it is the same person. From angel to demon you never know which one is going to come out next and accompanied by a vast array of blast beats – it is one track that is both exciting and will leave you awe struck!

History Repeats

Nice solid rhythm with “bansheesque” vocal accompaniment. But once again the angel comes forth and presents a clean and beautiful vocal.  Ominous heavy bass hooks emanate through the speakers offering some respite from the onslaught but not for long. Thunderous guitars plough their way through the track like a combine harvester. Tremendous to the last note!

Space to Breathe

Heavy melodic bass hook opens and then a rip roaring guitar rhythm takes over. Howling vocals along with a more angelic voice carry the track further into oblivion. Driving beats and rhythms take you on a voyage of discovery with wild abandonment.

So Red

More ominous bass feel and guitar starts slower in pace with haunting angelic vocal. Not one of my favourite tracks it has to be said - nice to see a variance, but prefer the more raucous and fast paced. It does however build to reveal punishing rhythms and guitar work.

All these Lies

Bass features once again with a powerful guitar melody building gradually to give a more reckless feel, fast paced with demonic/angelic vocal – neatly put together in true Incassum style.

In Vain

Haunting strings melodic and moody build with intrigue and sends the listener into a dream-like state. Powerful frenzied guitar then takes over whilst the blast beats bring it to life.

Incassum are one of those bands that are a must see “live” act as the CD, in my opinion, does not do them enough justice. Although the CD is now five years old, in that time the band, as you would expect, have grown not only in confidence but stature.

In Vain is seriously brooding with bags of style and attitude, and I really must get their latest CD “Rites of Passage”, as comparing the two you can tell that the band have not just taken tiny steps up the ladder but about three gigantic leaps at a time. Hopefully I will get to sample them live again at some point in time – but if you have the chance to see them don’t pass up the opportunity of seeing them live and experiencing the angelic forces battle the demons, as it is quite something to behold.

Devil Horn Rating (Out of Five): \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/