|Review: Incrave - Dead End|
Label: Ulterium Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: July 24, 2015
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (4 Votes)
This is the second album from Swedish metallers Incrave, released back in 2008, not long after they'd changed their name from Evergrace, which is just as well, as it's a little too close to one of their main influences, the kings of morose metal themselves, Evergrey. Now, Incrave aren't a clone band by any means; they straddle a line somewhere between the less exciting moments of Darkwater and Nocturnal Rites, featuring clean but gritty vocals, simple choruses, and moody riff work. They come off sounding like a poor man's Harmony, a band they are closely affiliated with. So is there any point in tracking this down?
Well, those in constant need of Power Metal records that don't conform to the happy go lucky sounds of Freedom Call and the like will get to grips with a lot of the meatier cuts on Dead End, especially faster tunes like "A Shadow In The Dark", and despite there being a general lack of originality, some songs dish up some memorable hooks, especially opener "Shattered" (though this is mostly due to the backing vocals, which have a tinkling AOR quality). All of this would be much improved if the sound, which is mastered well but produced poorly, was smoothed out a little, as the drums take up way too much room in the overall mix, leaving singer Johan Falk to fight it out with the rest of the band in his attempts to be heard.
The material here just isn't remarkable enough to warrant repeated listens, although if gloomy, dreary Power Metal is your thing, you might get more out of this than I did.
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