Reviewed: December 2020
Released: 2020, No Remorse Records
Given this is the band’s debut release, you would be forgiven for making the assumption Incursion were a newcomer to the American revival of traditional, swords and sorcery themed heavy metal.
You would only be half right.
Incursion were actually founded in 1982. They had an active period for four years before they seemingly went on hiatus for almost three decades, emerging once again in 2018.
It is probably no coincidence that while the NWOTHM continues to ascend, and bands like Visigoth and Eternal Champion are earning high praise and enjoying a healthy degree of success, Incursion have been inspired to “get the band back together,” as it were; and fair play to them! As Warrior Of Destruction gallops away from the spoken prologue it’s clear the five piece have more than enough energy to justify their hand in the game.
Considering the band had their first run in the early eighties, it’s impressive how fresh The Hunter sounds. The production is crisp and lean. Any excess has been trimmed away to emphasise both the directness of the songwriting and the dexterity of the musicians, all of whom sound like they are having a great time. By the time the first chorus comes there’s enough infectious energy on display to sweep you along for the ride – and surely only the most reluctant metal head could resist the urge to get their fist in the air for the majestic pulse of Guiding Faith.
Ramping up the tempo for the Helloween meets Judas Priest bang-a-long of Fade To Black then slowing things to a dark, heavy contrast in Kingdom Of The Dead demonstrates a grasp of dynamics that ensures the five tracks on offer don’t leave you feeling short changed. The latter accelerates to a speed metal pummel on the double bass drums and you realise Incursion have actually crammed a fair bit into the EP’s relatively short running time. Credit where it’s due, they’ve achieved this by using an all killer no filler approach that makes pushing reset for a repeat listen an appealing prospect.
If you want to take a pedantic approach, you could focus on the fact The Hunter isn’t offering anything new, or that while the musicianship is skilled and confident, it doesn’t dazzle so much as get the job done – but it gets it done with style and it’s enough to impress. You can’t deny this being a fun release with tons of enthusiasm.
Slot it in next to your Manowar albums and get it out next time you feel like wielding a sword through a fantasy landscape to the sound of a loud guitar.
I. The Hunter: Prologue
II. Warrior Of Destruction
III. Guiding Faith
IV. Fade To Black
V. Kingdom Of The Dead
VI. The Hunter: King Of All The Land