Review Summary: While providing nothing new for the genre, Incite still provide a thoroughly enjoyable balls to the wall groove machine in All Out War.
Being a child of a metal legend mustn't be easy, even if you're not biologically related. Attempting to forge your own path in the metal scene will always lead to comparisons with the works of your father and you never really get out of their shadow (see Austin Dickinson's Rise to Remain as an example). In this case, Max Cavalera's adopted step-son Richie is somewhat successful in providing an album which can stand on its own merit, with the only real link to his family being producer Logan Mader (the ex-Machine Head axeman having a brief spell in Soulfly in the late 90s). After the unimpressive "The Slaughter" leaving them without a label and a guitarist short in 2009, they've opted to channel their rage into their sophomore effort, "All Out War", with new guitarist Gene Macazan adding a real punch to their sound.
The album gets off to a great start with opening tracks "The Afterman", "4ever Loko" and "Feel the Flames", with "Feel the Flames" being the strongest track of the whole album. The Pantera-esque vibe is present throughout the album but the creative riffage of Macazan really shines on Feel the Flames and the groove of their faster tracks provides some real footstompers which could probably hold their own against the mighty Pantera's discography. However the first three tracks are definitely the strongest tracks and the second half fails to keep up the pace after the disruption of "Hopeless", the lead single. In the context of the album it's OK if unspectacular but it was by far and away the worst possible choice for a single. I'd rather they'd used their free track "Die Alone" as a full single, the song provides a great kick up the arse towards the end of the album and is probably the main highlight of the rest of the album as the rest of the tracks, aside from the fast paced thrasher "Exposed", just seem to plod along, with occasional moments of enjoyable groove bubbling up to keep an overall positive impression in the end. The track immediately after "Hopeless", the bouncy "Retaliation", provides just that - it reacts rather well to the disappointing preceding track but despite valiantly attempting to revive the pace of the album it falls just short.
Production wise and in terms of the musicianship of Incite, "All Out War" fares rather well. The choice to bring in Logan Mader was a wise one as he's someone that knows what he's doing, having worked on albums by Gojira, Fear Factory, Five Finger Death Punch and yes, Cavalera Conspiracy. Gene Macazan is a godsend for Incite and his guitar playing gives them a massive musical boost from "The Slaughter"; Zak Solafy's drumming complements the guitar playing well and adds to the groove nicely and the bass isn't as neglected as it is in other metal bands. Above all Richie Cavalera's vocals have improved greatly since the early days of the band, showing real anger in their delivery and nice consistency. If one was to hear this album without knowing of Incite's links, they probably wouldn't be so quick to compare to the works of Max Cavalera, and to be honest it's not easy to compare the two without that link. Incite's music sounds nothing like the works of Soulfly or Sepultura, taking much more influence from other groove metal giants Pantera - perhaps too much. But this album does more than enough to hold its own and in future Incite should be able to stand on their own merit without being constantly harassed by family links (although we all know they'll never fully shake them). Incite can at best hope to help carve out a legacy for the Cavalera tribe along with Richie's half brothers in Lody Kong, and with the Kong's EP out soon we'll soon see if that's a possibility.