You expect nothing less than brutality from the name Cavalera and Up in Hell (Independent), the third long-player from young Richie Cavalera (step-son of Max)’s outfit Incite, has the family stamp all over it; the young whippersnapper’s voice carrying the savage delivery to another generation. It’s a largely new band surrounding Master Cavalera and it makes for a fresh, dynamic sound, albeit one occasionally affected by the oft-maligned traits of metalcore. The opening title track and ‘Still Here’ are amongst a glut of tracks possessing the breakdown elements of both Pantera and August Burns Red. This is allied to a vicious ‘core sound, with accompanying post-hardcore lead strains most reminiscent of Danish upstarts Contrition. New drummer Derek Lopez switches the pace expertly, giving the scything pummel of ‘WTF’ a convoluted edge in the bridges, the buzzing riffs complementing Cavalera’s coruscating scour perfectly.
It’s an enjoyable if occasionally generic sound which will undoubtedly appeal to those youngsters who want to take the next step into extremity from Black Veil Brides and their depressingly sterile ilk. In truth, that variation from Lopez saves the album from dropping into a mundane world, as without him the tracks would appear a little repetitive, with precious few hints of invention to save it from a reliance on mere hostility and that redeeming groove. ‘Losing Grip’ is the sticksman’s standout track, the ferocious pounding switching from cavernous double kicks to blastbeats while all the time dictating a fulminating swerve through some pulverising riffs.
There’s a real feeling of class here too; the barrelling menace of ‘Fallen’ is DevilDriver-esque, complete with a technically adept but cold solo, whilst the vicious furrows of ‘Rise to Greatness’ & ‘Who Am I’, the former featuring some intricate and profound lead work, really spice things up and show a deeper quality to Richie’s voice.
This is a powerful showing, full of bristling anger and intent, but more innovation and maturity of sound would have kept some of its blunt edges sharp. Richie’s been at this game a while now and, whilst far from instilling boredom, it’s time for him to develop a sound that marks him out.