Portland’s Increate is a relatively new band in the metal underground. Formed in 2013, this instrumental quartet brings a very interesting mix of Prog Metal, Jazz Fusion, Experimental, Death Metal and Djent on their debut adventure Void, out on February 3.
Although I cannot tell if the Increate members have any previous experience, it is evident that they know what they do here. Impeccable knowledge of genres from Jazz to Metal allow the band to cover vast ground. Opener “Depths of R’lyeh” shows this right off the bat: a well-nigh cacophony of Metal riffing, frantic drums, and aggressive high-tech guitar suddenly melts into levitating d-jazz fusion. But startling contrasts of genres and awe-inspiring virtuosity is just the method. Elaborate polyphony, complex time signatures, and high-tech chops serve a higher purpose of taking you to a mysterious place where engrossing scenes unfold all around.
And the most vivid imagery on this record comes not from math Metal, but from Jazz Fusion which guitarists Dustin Behm and Sean Chiodo, backed by bassist Zev Levine and drummer Johannes Jans, seem to have mastered to perfection. Standout “Interstellar Displacement” is up there with the best work of Animals as Leaders — abstract and at the same time lucidly eloquent. Guitarists know how to give the bass a finely wrought voice and a spectral touch.
Another highlight “Blind Idiot God” takes technical death metal and more — thrash, prog, and atmospheric — and uses each genre as a layer to build a unique reality. Here the band’s vision captivates you completely — a total immersion experience, in 3D and multi-viewpoint.
It is hard to pick highlights as the entire album is a highlight. The newly found expansive approach takes their vision to a new level — making it transparent, well-defined and more approachable. And speaking of “approachable,” there is nothing easy about making complex inner realities accessible. Like any true art, it’s a hard one to master. But then again, stunning, world-class ideas draw crowds in — this is how niche acts go “mainstream.” And this could well happen to this band.
01. Depths of R’lyeh
02. The Audient Void
03. Interstellar Displacement
04. Remembering the Future
05. The Crawling Chaos
06. Blind Idiot God
* Sean Chiodo – guitar
* Dustin Behm – guitar
* Zev Levine – bass
* Johannes Jans – drums