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Dew-Scented - Incinerate - 2007 - Nuclear Blast

Track Listing:
1. Exordium
2. Vanish Away
3. Final Warning
4. That's Why I Despise You
5. The Fraud
6. Into the Arms of Misery
7. Perdition For All
8. Now or Never
9. Aftermath
10. Everything Undone
11. Contradictions
12. Retain the Scars
13. Exitus
With 'Incinerate' as their most high-profile release to date, Germany's Dew-Scented reload their true-blue blunderbuss for the seventh time. Although this long-standing troop has been making the rounds both in the Fatherland and overseas for many years now, only with 2002's 'Inwards' did they receive international acclaim. It was two albums later, when 'Issue VI' rolled around, that the band officially hit it big.

That is, as 'big' as a modern thrash-oriented band not named The Haunted (or originally hailing from the 1980's) can be in today's market. Since its golden years, thrash has become a bet of long odds-as an incorporated element into another metal genre it almost always succeeds, but when performed on its own it often is panned as passe or a been-done. And, indeed, though it would be misleading to call Dew-Scented's back catalogue innovative, their constant, dependable presence marks them as one of the few who still protect the rather tenuous light of thrash's torch.

The band themselves-i.e. vocalist and founder Leif Jensen-have admitted that in retrospect 'Issue VI' wasn't quite the album they wanted it to be, and consequently, 'Incinerate' is the band's attempt to conjoin some of the successful experiments from 'Issue VI' with more concert-friendly, straightforward thrashers. (And in fact, it sounds as though the band have taken some motives from 'Issue VI' and directly reprised them-'Vanish Away's alternating riff and 'Rituals of Time', for instance.)

And for the most part, they have succeeded. The guitar duo of Hendrik and Flo have one of modern metal's best synergies and 'Incinerate' is packed with their tight riffing interplay and surprisingly adventurous solos. Complimenting their efforts on 'Perdition For All' are Gus G of Firewind and Jeff Waters of Annihilator, each of whom lay down blistering solos of their own. Leif Jensen's vocals are as leather-lunged as ever, and in his final performance for the band Uwe Werning turns in a thrash drumming clinic.

And yet, curiously enough, despite their 'return to form' mindset, 'Incinerate' is arguably even more experimental than 'Issue VI'. The latter is undoubtedly the more technical of the two, but the wild abandon of this album's solos, its guest appearances, spoken word passages ('Everything Undone'), and intro/outro tracks, all make 'Incinerate' comes across as the less conventional of the two.

This approach is successful overall, but not always. Cuts like 'That's Why I Despise You' and 'The Fraud' are standout headbangers that match rather basic structures with clever, classically styled hooks. However, other songs like the plodding duet 'Retain The Scars' (despite Mille of Kreator's presence) swing the pendulum a little too far towards simplicity and end up being yawners.

When balanced out, the exemplary outweighs the forgettable, and 'Incinerate' is ultimately a success, though not quite for the reasons Dew-Scented may have intended. For those looking for modern thrash at its stripped-down essence, this is not the album to choose. However, 'Incinerate' does convincingly demonstrate that that neither thrash nor Dew-Scented are stagnant, which, in the bigger picture, is the more significant point to make. Defined in the past by their resilient consistency, modern Dew-Scented is boldly beginning to prove that the stereotypes of 'carrying the torch' and 'pushing the envelope' of a genre are not mutually exclusive, despite all appearances to the contrary.



Rating: 3.5



--Etiam
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: DEW SCENTED
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
ImpactedDew Scented
2003
Greg Watson3/23/2004
IncinerateDew Scented
2007
Etiam8/17/2007
Issue VIDew Scented
2005
Eric Compton6/26/2005


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: DEW SCENTED
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
InterminationDew Scented
2015
Greg Watson8/21/2015


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: DEW SCENTED
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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