Incubus (Opprobrium) -Beyond The Unknown lp [original]

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Product Description

Original Nuclear Blast release with printed innersleeve

Not to be confused with any of the other bands scattered throughout history with this name, this band hailed from Metairie, LA, and was formed in 1986 by brothers Francis (guitar/vocals) and Moyses Howard, both of whom had recently emigrated from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Along with locally bred bassist Scot LaTour, and then his successor, Mark Levenia, the siblings released two death metal albums under the Incubus banner: 1988’s Serpent Temptation and 1990’s Beyond The Unknown. Although notable for their ferocity and surprisingly decent production, neither one of these managed to establish the band, which soon went into hibernation, while Francis occasionally surfaced to contribute guest vocals on Cannibal Corpse’s Skull Full of Maggots and Sepultura’s Stronger Than Hate. When the Howard brothers finally decided it was time to give their band another shot in the late ’90s, they were wise enough to avoid any potential legal battles with the more famous, younger band called Incubus, and released 2000’s Discerning Forces LP under the new handle of Opprobrium. Interestingly, this was a Christian death metal album, and was recorded back home in Brazil with the help of local bassist André Luiz and second guitarist Luiz Carlos. Anyway looking back to Incubus second album, Beyond The Unknown ( by a small margin the most impressive of the two albums), and we’ll find riffs that screams death metal more than thrash metal to my ears, so comparisons to Demolition Hammer, Energetic Krusher and the like aren’t necessarily as precise as the final product may suggest. The brothers Howard make a fine showing for only two individuals, and Francis rolls out fluid, cryptic and unforgiving riffs of extremely high order without cessation. Beyond The Unknown as a collective effort is worthy of praise, as is the fact that it is laid out in a very digestible manner, perfectly suited for the occult-laden climes the music delivers. Each and every song is a trenchant entanglement of murky grooves and bristling tremolos. Hardly the riff soup it could have been, the album’s busier moments retain just enough constructive reason to hold proceedings together, no matter how scattershot the riff delivery becomes. All things considered, there is a reasonable-enough level of variation, as some tracks like The Deceived Ones play with a more sundering, midpaced template to counterpoint Francis divebomb solo work. The duo careens through a reasonable eight tracks in just under forty minutes, and not a moment is spared via directionless. And finally, taking into account that the band members emigrated from Brazil, the final piece of the puzzle seamlessly falls into place. There is without doubt a vibe not wholly dissimilar to early Sepultura at work here, separating Incubus from designation as just another deadpan Morbid Angel clone, although it would be a misnomer to totally eject such comparisons. So while the individual components aren’t as distinct and/or unique as they could have been, what really matters is how the recipe comes together, and Beyond The Unknown is a complete meal. While the band did manage to trigger a few ripples in the underground, they sort of got lost in the shuffle afterward, further obfuscating their legacy by the late 90s name change.

Track listing:
1. Certain Accuracy
2. The Deceived Ones
3. Curse Of The Damned Cities
4. Beyond The Unknown
5. Freezing Torment
6. Massacre Of The Unborn
7. On The Burial Ground
8. Mortify

Additional Information

Label

Nuclear blast records

Catalogue Number

NB 039

Release Year

1990