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Incursed - Amalur Award winner

Incursed
Amalur
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 30 September 2017, 10:03 AM

One of the greatest pleasures that a writer can have is to see throughout the years the evolution that a band presents from one album to another. In Pagan/Viking Metal, one of the finest names is from Spanish quintet INCURSED, that is back with their new album, “Amalur”.

The band’s ranks had two changes: Juan Sampedro left the band and the new bass man is Mikel Llona; and Narot Santos (rhythm guitars, vocals) left as well, and in his place is Lander Lourido, playing rhythm guitars and making the clean vocals parts (INCURSED’s keyboards player Jon Koldo Tera “Jonkol” is making the harsh vocals and some clean ones as well). The evolution takes its toll, because their aggressive Pagan/Viking Metal from their previous works became more melodic and elegant, with less harsh vocals parts, and the Folk/Pagan melodies are clearer than before. But their energy and musical roots are untouched, just a bit more full-bodied, and with excellent choruses as well.

“Amalur” was recorded, mixed e mastered at Cursed Onion Studios and Chromaticity Studios. This time, their sound quality is better than before; with a cleaner sound that makes Pagan melodies and instrumental arrangements clearer, but with that essential touch of rawness to make the aggressive side of their musical work fit on the evolved embodiment of the band.

If the evolution is due band’s maturing or due the changes on the line up, one thing is certain: this clearer and understandable sound that “Amalur” presents is amazing, because the vocals are doing a balanced work on the tunes changes (from clean to harsh ones, and even some female voices can be heard as well), the guitar work improved a lot (the riffs are still filled with a hooking energy, but the solos are better and even some duets can be heard), the keyboards parts that are presented fits better in each track, and the rhythmic work from bass guitar and drums is heavy and technical as before, but filled with elegance. Some guests can be heard throughout the album’s songs, as Javi Crosas on vocals on “The Slavic Covenant”, Ibone Gómez with her wonderful and tender voice on “A Crownless King”, Miguel Laguna on vocals on “Amalur” and lead guitar on “A Crownless King”, Javi Rubio on violins, Iñigo Sáenz Quevedo playing Alboka and txistu on “Lurramets”, and The Drunk & Dead Choir with Zarkon, Piriz, Melas, Aitzi, Makaia and Pablo on the choirs.

All the 12 songs of “Amalur” will surprise you all, but the hypnotic Pagan melodies of “Cryhavoc!”, the aggressive approach of  “Psalm of the Accursed”, the seductive touch on the melodic lines of “Akelarre” with its fine clean voices, the beautiful Pagan/Folk parts of “Amalur” and its technical bass guitar and drums parts, the funny and hooking “The Slavic Covenant” that presentes a Pagan Metal side near that one presented by bands as FINNTROLL e KORPIKLAANI; the beautiful introspective clean guitars presented on “A Crownless King” (what lovely duets of clean female and male voices), the brutality that resembles the times of “Fimbulwinter” that is shown on “The Hardest of Harvests”, that has fine violins incursions on slower parts, the brutal “Brothers in Arms”, and “Fear A’ Bhata”, a traditional song that gained a heavy and more Pagan Metal orientation.

So, what’s left to say is: INCURSED is back a bit more melodic and mature, then don’t resist and surrender yourselves to “Amalur”, one of the best albums of this year! By the way: listen to the EP “The Slavic Covenant” (with five songs, two of them presented on “Amalur”), because it has a new version for “Wild!” (from their first album, “Morituri”) and an amazing version for old A-HA success, “Take on Me”.

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Lurramets (Intro)
2. Cryhavoc!
3. Psalm of the Accursed
4. Akelarre
5. The Awakening
6. Amalur
7. The Slavic Covenant
8. A Crownless King
9. The Hardest of Harvests
10. Zombeer Alcoholocaust
11. Brothers in Arms
12. Fear A’ Bhata
Lineup:
Lander Lourido - Clean vocals, Guitars
Asier Fernandez - Lead Guitars
Jon Koldo Tera “Jonkol” - Keyboards, Harsh and Clean Vocals
Mikel Llona - Bass
Asier Amo “Amo” - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 25 March 2019
 

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