Formed in 2004 by Richie Cavalera, the stepson of former Sepultura frontman, Max Cavalera, Arizona groove thrashers Incite have undergone several changes in personnel during their eighteen-year existence but their edge has not been dulled even slightly. Wake Up Dead (Atomic Fire Records), the band’s sixth full-length studio album, is another seething mass of riffs and rage that sees the return of bassist Christopher “EL” Elsten and drummer Lennon Lopez while also welcoming guitarist Eli Santana to the fold.
Opening with all the subtlety expected of a Cavalera, ‘Fuck With Me (Wake Up Dead)’ bursts out of the speakers with old school riffs and a thundering Pantera groove, the first half of the guitar solo sounding like it could have been lifted from the Texan act’s Far Beyond Driven album. Max appears alongside Richie for the first time on the strangely titled ‘War Soup’, a song about all the soup which was consumed in the trenches of World War II. Yes, you did read that correctly. An anti-war song. About soup.
‘Sucker Punched’ brims with furious, punk energy and Machine Head hooks, both of which continue with the assault of ‘Deadbeat’, a song about recovering from Covid-era inactivity. After an acoustic opening bolstered by rolling drums and powerful staccato riffing ‘Mental Destruction’ soon becomes a total groovebeast sure to go down well in the moshpit. ‘Built To Destroy’ is as self-explanatory as it gets, ‘Stagnant’ is anything but, and ‘Fallen’ manages to combine the aggression of Lamb of God and Hatebreed with smooth Iron Maiden guitar melodies. ‘The Aftermath’ possesses a strong Earth Crisis vibe while rowdy closer ‘The Slaughter’ is another venomous and appropriately titled cut with a keen ear for melody.
Drawing influences from the past and present, Wake Up Dead will undoubtedly be seen as derivative by some but at the end of the day is just a massively enjoyable collection of aggression from a band led by someone who has literally lived and breathed metal since the day he was born.
7 / 10