Incarnated – Try Before Die (Selfmadegod Records)

Wednesday, 14th May 2014
Rating: 7/10

Polish death metal usually brings to mind entities such as Decapitated and Behemoth.  Listening to Incarnated, you’d swear you were listening to something of the early Swedish variety, certainly not something Polish.  None the less, Incarnated is heavily influenced by the early Swedish scene, but don’t let the word influenced allow your mind to feed into the most obvious answer of yet another band that is pushing out the 100th edition of Left Hand Path in this year alone.

Ok, admittedly there is a large and noticeable buzzsaw crunch to the guitars that will lead you in the Swedish retro direction.  Thankfully though, that’s where most of the usual retro references end.  Instead of opting for more Entombed and Dismember, one of the biggest odes on Try Before Die is that of early Hypocrisy (alongside some Vomitory).  Featuring that same drive and urgent blasting, many of the songs here capitalize on that same energy that fueled Penetralia and Osculum Obscenum.  With much of the focus on blasting, there is some attention being paid to some occasional grooves (“Grave Is Where Your Heart Is”) that keeps the album from being a complete blur.

The only real sticking point here is that of the drums (well, outside of the jarring transition to a flat-line at the end of the disc).  Technically speaking, no qualms here, but they are very upfront in the mix and the frequent blastbeats alongside the very “buzz”-worthy guitars keeps Try Before Die from reaching it’s full potential (in other words, much of it tends to blur together).  Once that obstacle is removed, it’s easy to see Incarnated as what they are: an old school death metal band that while they may not turn heads, are good at what they do.  If you are into early Hypocrisy, it’s worth a try.

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