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Incarceration – Empiricism

by Quinten Serna at 15 July 2021, 1:26 PM

Writhing and pulsing in and out of existence a sound resonates whose origin comes from outside of perception, this deafening whisper burgeons into our reality as a kind of apotheosis that from squalor and the unknown unto a force intimidating and unrecognizing; INCARCERATION is no stranger to such eldritch pursuits as Empiricism embodies such attributes with great fervor within the confines of its 21 minutes.

Commencing with the dreary and dark “Chthonic Pulse” the EP opens on what one would more typically expect of a requiem or dirge, that of slow solemn progression however this passage is rent by the main riff in a powerful dichotomy; the overarching motif of the song is that of despair completed with a crippling outro which fades into mutilated silence. “Psychic Totality” treads in a cacophonic torrent, that which is unrelenting and unabated, a force and form uniquely itself in a multitude of aspects—within its progression lies a rawness and bitterness characteristic to the EP but made centralized in this song. Following is “Beneath The Chains Of Existence” a heavy laden track interspersed with a few tempo changes and some heavily saturated solos. Lastly is “Chasms Of Metaflesh” which genuinely met well begin with the tape being ran backwards something for which is hardly ever used especially given the modern conveniences of the digital age; the fade out into feedback perfectly mirrors the band’s reckless abandon, a cacophonous knell that steals the show.

First, prior to any other inclusion or merit it would be a disservice not to draw attention to the fact that the EP was produced via analog and not digitally rendered and edited; how few groups are well versed enough if their own endeavors that they can manage any manner of production in analog format? Outside of such praise the instrumentation is well pieced together with each element serving its purpose in full. The guitars are heavy, thick, and grizzled with raw aggression a kind of sound you’d find deep underground at witching hour after the bar’s been closed but the band is still going. The bass is a gritty force as well however loses its ground between the kick and the other guitars becoming noticeable in the absence of a full kit but quickly losing itself to the boomingness of the mix. The drums are performed exceptionally well but have to them a sound and quality thick and muddied, like a tape made worn or of mics gone bad; the delivery is great but the sound denigrates the mix. Lastly, the vocals are a mixed bag though consistent in how they sit—the gritty wails and cries bleed despair and disdain but lack distinction on their part sounding as accentuations to the rest of the band rather than as a driving force.

The invidious mannerisms of INCARCERATION resound in every beat and strum and conjure imagery of destitution and malice. While the efforts in recording analog are beyond compare the manner by which the instruments bleed into one another harm the mix severely, yet the music stands as solid and firm despite; for anyone with a penchant towards anything heavy and though provoking one has to look no further than Empiricism.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Chthonic Pulse
2. Psychic Totality
3. Beneath The Chains Of Existence
4. Chasms Of Metaflesh
Daniel da Silva – Bass and Vocals
Michael Koch – Drums
Alex Obscured – Guitars
Pedro Capaça – Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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