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Opprobrium | Discerning Forces | review | metal | Lollipop


Discerning Forces (Nuclear Blast)
by Tim Den

I was probably the only metalgeek underground enough to kick and scream when Immortal/Epic records signed a band called Incubus in the mid-'90s. "There is already an Incubus," I complained. "And they rule!" Of course, by the time the "alterna" Incubus came out, the old death metal unit had long since disintegrated. Problems around the moniker arose, naturally, when the old metal soldiers decided to reform after almost a decade of dormancy. First they were gonna go under Incubus Rage, but settled on Opporbrium instead. So I might be the only person jumping up and down that one of my cult faves are back in action (and pissed that they didn't get to keep their original name), but hopefully the secret won't be mine much longer. Picking up where they left off with '91's amazing Beyond the Unknown, Discerning Forces is a throwback to the early '90s (and best era) of death metal - variation of speed and breakdown, tasteful riffs and percussion synchopation, gutteral growl that has both the deepness and the crisp-clear tones of Martin Van Drunen, and an overall sound that distinctly echoes the glory days of death metal when craft was valued. This album is everything I remember about Incubus - brutal and technical, with an ear toward equaling out everything with sensibility. Never are the songs too fast or too slow for too long, and never are they boring and cliché. Like their first two records, Discerning Forces is a clever bag of tricks piled on top of an already overflowing cart of masterful thinking. Welcome back, boys.
(PO Box 43618 Philadelphia, PA 19106)


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