Nottingham Thrashers Incinery join us in Episode 18 of our podcast (released 16th October). Reviewer Gareth takes a listen to the new album.. here’s what he thinks!
Shhh. Before I start, this could be one of the shortest reviews ever. After spending a week with this album, I went onto Bandcamp and pre-ordered this album and bought the band’s whole back catalogue. That’s how impressed I am. Just don’t tell the wife. Look, I’m not as silly as to have the PayPal receipts sent to her email address as another fellow reviewer did! Yes, I know, schoolboy error! It’s a bit of a gamble though, because now I’m only on furlough 2 days a week, I can’t intercept the mail like I could, it’s a risk I’m prepared to make though. So, I’m relying on your discretion. Mum’s the word, OK!
Oh, so you actually want me to review the album, not just take my word for it. OK, if you must. But firstly, a question! A silly question maybe? Do you like your thrash heavy; I mean proper heavy? Yes, please continue to the review. No, best fuck off back to your hot chocolate and slippers then, this isn’t the album for you. And another warning for you, this isn’t an easy listen or an instant hit. The band have put a huge amount of time and effort into this recording, and you have to put in some time and effort as well if you want to reap the rewards. The first thing you’ll notice, is the sound; it’s massive, handled by guitarist Chris Kenny, the guitars should have a warning sign on them, they are like some industrial machine, with the guards removed, they really shouldn’t be operated by anyone not qualified, they will, lacerate, and crush you with equal results, which is undoubtedly mutilation or death. The drums are just as pristine, providing a solid concrete like base for everything else to build on, and the bass is an interweaving low crawling serpent, snaking its way between the rest, providing that essential bottom end to ensure the heaviest of outcomes.
Song wise things start off with the pseudo-title track ‘Hollow Earth’, starting with an unnerving drone, it quickly blasts off, riffs flying about like an explosion in a scrapyard, guitars like hunks of sharpened metal come at you from all angles. It does slow to a bludgeon halfway through, but it’s no let-up from the intensity. A cracking start, and ‘Savage Lands’ offers no respite, yet more riffs and a little bit more of a melodic edge, yet still as brutal as a bear with a headache. ‘The Less Dead’ is a particular favourite of mine, a twisting melodic lead, that morphs into more riffs, fast furious and nothing short of absolute viciousness. Just when you thought things couldn’t get heavier, ‘Carrion King’ hits you like a breeze block fired from a trebuchet, the band pulling their fastest chops yet. Second single ‘Ellison’ keeps the same level of density but slows it down with a thick, impenetrable weight of attack. You’ll already be familiar with the excellent ‘Falling from the Sky’ and it sets up the second half of the album very nicely. ‘As Above, So Below’ and ‘The Sorrow of the Last’ are quick and chunky in equal measure, the latter with a punishing stop/start groove. ‘Beyond the Dawn’ is relentless, and leaves you gasping for breath, as sheets of guitars wash over you like a tidal wave of sheer belligerence. The album ends with another favourite of mine, ‘Terminal Singularity’, condensed riffs and a driving pace, guitars playing little dances between the cracks, and an absolutely crushing middle section that is going to kill when we can get back to going to gigs.
Like I stated earlier, I’m really impressed with this album, and although I try not to compare bands too often, I will say, that what sprung to mind when I listened to ‘Hollow Earth Theory’; was the Rob Duke’s era of Exodus, especially, the ‘Exhibit A & B’ albums, not because they sound particularly like them, but it has that same level of intensity and just sheer bludgeoning heaviness.
2020 as much as of a complete shit show that it’s been, music wise, thank fuck, it has been the complete opposite. Thrash and UK thrash especially, has been exceptionally good, with cracking releases from old and new alike, veterans Onslaught and Virus, through established bands like Shrapnel and Sylosis, and of course new kids on the block like ThrasherWolf as well as many others. And it looks like it’s going to continue, with old hands Solitary releasing a new album in a couple of weeks, followed the week after this beauty, from Nottingham’s very own Incinery with their sophomore full release ‘Hollow Earth Theory’. Another absolute cracker. Go on risk the wrath of the missus and go order you copy today.
Reviewer – Gareth Pugh
Release Date – 30/10/2020