IV: The Revenant

Let’s get this out of the way first, and put it out there.

Inchoate is the instrumental metal brainchild of one man – Brandon Duncan. Brandon Duncan recently designed the new teeth of the logo and is doing the shirt designs that will be available shortly. First, Mr. Duncan sent me the CD some time ago, and it wasn’t until I started researching the release that I found his website, discovered he was a graphic artist, and approached him about designing a new logo for the site-which he did with rather fantastic results I might add. To clarify, I am not doing this review as a favor to Mr. Duncan, not will this review be any less honest or forthright than any other review, in fact and Mr. Duncan is in agreement with that and his only ‘payment’ for doing the site logo was that I in fact give the CD a timely and honest review-so here goes:

Well, if anything Mr. Duncan is ambitious, not only doing his graphic art but also releasing 4 CDs under the Inchoate moniker since 1999 – all instrumental albums on which he performs all instruments. However, as readers of this site may know, that’s already a strike against him in my eyes, as A) I’m not a huge instrumental metal fan and B) especially if its one 32 minute song that makes up the album.

All that negativity being said, it’s obvious that he is talented musician, especially guitar wise. The 32 minutes that constitute IV: The Revenant are chock full of progressive, thrashy riffs that’s a far cry from the usual post rock without vocals or tech overkill that most instrumental albums follow. It’s more in line with the likes of Shelter Red in its delivery and pace. The riffs vary and range from urgent double bass to a few expected moments of introspection and the gamut of everything in between. However, the riffs really don’t convey a story of a vengeful Revenant corpse, and only the crawling riff about 5 minutes from the end has anything that remotely reminded me of zombies, as the rest has a far more industrial meets progressive tone. However, Duncan admits the music is merely to allow the listener to perceive their own story.

While Duncan is more than proficient at the guitar work, he could use a skilled, technical drummer to help convey his music as his programmed drumming just isn’t up to par with his guitar playing – it’s serviceable, but with a really top notch, challenging drummer, the material could be even more dynamic. The bass work is solid and the production from a self released standpoint is also acceptable and the whole affair does reek of dedication and love of the art rather than rock stardom.

That all being said  there is some promise and talent on display here, just not fulled realized yet. Still, you can check out a full ten minutes of the releases at the Inchoate podcast and decide for yourself. I’ll simply leave my review with the somewhat appropriate dictionary definition of Inchoate:

1. not yet completed or fully developed; 
2. just begun; incipient.
3. not organized; lacking order: an inchoate mass of ideas on the subject.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 2nd, 2009


  1. Commented by: Dan

    We’z gettin’ t-shirts?! Fuckin’ METAAAAAAAAL!

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