Canadian quintet Incura I have only just discovered, through their same-titled debut release, but the fact that they are releasing this work under the moniker of Inside Out was enough to make me jump up and pay attention.
Said German progressive Rock/Metal orientated label has opened my eyes to some pretty unique and technically challenging music these last few years, so things were looking promising for “Incura”.
I am sure you have come across labels describing their aspiring young artists as “innovative”, “genre bending” and/or “unclassifiable”, only to discover that none of the above ever truly applied?
Well, this is one of the few cases where all these descriptions are totally justifiable, as I cannot recall the last time I came across a band with such a huge variety of musical influences. The only thing left to establish was whether the band had the skills to utilise these influences to create both coherent and inspiring material. How well did they do?
I have to admit that I still feel fairly confused as to what I should make of “Incura” and what I think a fair rating would be.
As far as technical and compositional skills are concerned, these lads take top marks, having successfully combined elements of Theatrical Prog, Pop and modern US Rock in such a mature way.
Having said that, some of their teenage-angst themes have been a bit difficult for me to digest and that is the reason why I find myself struggling to come to a solid conclusion/rating.
In “Get the Gun” and “I Breathe This”, the first compositions of the album, you come across a band that’s firing on all cylinders, with every member offering performances of equal quality but it is not long before one recognises the main star of this show.
It is the dramatic refrain of “I’m Here Waiting” and the dramatic Rock Opera styled vocal performance in “Who You Are” which places vocalist Kyle Gruninger directly in the spotlight and, from that point onwards, all the focus is on him for the remaining songs of the album.
“Turning Blue” finds the band blending Dream Theater style riffs with 80s Hair Metal vocal hooks, while the moody piano tunes on “Decide” add an extra dimension to this already ridiculously varied album.
The last few compositions on offer are targeting those far younger in years than yours truly, however, there’s enough variety in songs like “The Greatest Con” and “Sweat Runs Cold” to impress a wider audience also.
Based solely on technical and compositional skill, I would have no problem whatsoever granting “Incura” a top rating as I am truly amazed by the musical knowledge that this outfit possesses.
Sadly, there are certain dominant elements in this album that I am not particularly fond of and that is why I am forced to be slightly more restrained in my evaluation.
Perhaps someone a bit younger than I am might appreciate this album differently and for that reason I strongly urge you to listen to this album for yourself and reach your own conclusions.