Upheaval – Incubate the Wasteland

Upheaval is a phenomenal French technical death metal band. And no offense to them but like weeds, every other month another technically masterful metal group sprouts up out of nowhere, with amazing command over dextrous polyrhythms and the ability to maintain a sense of progression over the course of a song.

So while Upheaval isn’t anything radically new, they do represent the state of the art in a flourishing genre. Track one, The Goat Falls wastes no time acquainting you with their characteristic sound: it’s like thousands of razors meticulously chopping up a laser beam, or at other times like a hyper-precise recording of the inside of a V8 engine that can effortlessly pivot between 0 and 8,000 RPMs.

The most amazing track is the third one, Gardens of Bablyon, which opens and closes with a sound I can only describe as a cross between a waterfall and heavy machine gun fire. The final track, The Third Cycle, is the best example of Upheaval maintaining a thoughtful theme over the course of a song. The vocals are deep and guttural. All I can remember of the drums is the note-for-note mirroring between the double kick and the guitar,

There’s not a note is out of place, no cheap thrills, no real mistake if you’re willing to forgive the occasional breakdown. Incubate the Wasteland is just punishing, visceral technicality with satisfying sense of progression.

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