Incursion
The Hunter EP

Oh gosh. Here were go again.

Remember last year when Greyhawk surprised you, me and everyone else with an album that looked like it should just be some innocent, nerdy fun – and turned out to be one of the most surprisingly compelling and righteous traditional power metal albums of the year? Well damned if Miami’s Incursion isn’t here to pull off the same trick in 2021. God damn this is fun.

Here we’ve got a seven-song concept EP telling the story of The Hunter’s quest to become the “King of All the Land” and all the trials and tribulations that he faces along the way. Admittedly, not the most outrageously original fantasy plot you’ve ever heard, I’m sure, but never mind all that. What DOES matter is the quality of songwriting and musicianship on display here, which I’m once again very surprised to say is very, VERY good. Influences range from the obvious Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, to early power metal titans Helloween and HammerFall and there’s a good dose of more classic rock-leaning Styx and Kansas thrown into the mix for good measure. It’s an endlessly upbeat, catchy display of traditional heavy metal that, as a genre that’s very much en vogue right now, will likely (and deservedly) capture a lot of attention.

After an epic, building intro properly sets the storytelling mood, the band gets down to business with “Warriors of Destruction,” an incredibly upbeat track filled with a infectious blend of classic rock-meets-traditional metal riffs and harmonies that sink into your skin like medicated cream – invigorating and refreshing with just enough of a bite to avoid it sounding overly cheesy. An earworm chorus, and a fantastic close will have you shouting along with stupid glee:

 

WITH BLOOD ON HIS HANDS – HE WIPES HIS BLADE!

HE MEETS THE MADMAN – NO MERCY IN HIS VEINS!

THE VICTIM HAS POWER – HE FIGHTS FOR HIS LIFE!

THE DESTRUCTOR DEVOURED! THE VICTIM DEMISED!

 

I MEAN COME ON! You know you love it. You know you need it.

Chapter “III – Guiding Faith” slows things down into a nice groove, letting the bass lines take a little more center stage and settles into the meat of the story. It takes a bit more of a classic, subdued Rainbow-like vibe before a killer bridge carries the song into it’s guitar solos and harmonies, all of which are beautifully executed and really show off the band’s chops. The band takes flight again and revs up the action on “IV: Fade to Black,” pulling out the band’s first liberal use of double bass and really settling into that classic power metal vibe. There’s a real sense of conflict in the album’s storyline with this track and serves as a real highlight.

The final true chapter “V: Kingdom of the Dead” changes paces again, starting with some slow, doomy brooding before the band unleashes the album’s most aggressive riff, paired with some more liberal double bass, all coming together to create a very Painkiller-era Priest track that pulls out all the stops and have the band operating at top gear. It’s a fantastic crescendo to the album that leaves me painfully wanting more than this little 6 song EP can actually provide.

But I suppose it’s better to leave the listener wanting more than it is to overstay your welcome, and Incursion certainly have an open-ended invitation to come back any time and provide me with more of this feel-good, catchy-as-all-hell take on traditional metal. With this album, No Remorse Records (Eternal Champion, Riot City) is really cementing their place at the forefront of the NWOTHM movement. This is a strong start from a band really striking the iron while it’s hot, and I can’t wait to see where they go from here!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
February 26th, 2021

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