I come here to you with a question. A simple one, but one that has much relevance to the subject matter at hand, that being the album I have the pleasure of reviewing right here, right fucking now. That album is the first release from UK Death Metal entity Wretched Incarnate, which is appropriately self titled for reasons that I will leave unto the artist involved, whose name happens to be Ash Cotterill. You may have heard his name before via his work with the absolutely brain crushing stuff he does on vocals and guitars with UKDM band Pemphigoid, and by Christ if you pay any attention at ALL to our gibberish here on TMW then surely you know just how fucking good they are by now! He is also lending his particular talents to UK Progressive Death Metal band As The World Dies with fellow Goid band mate and absolute legend Bill Richmond, but that as they say, is another tale.
So focus I shall on the matter at hand. There is a sincere beauty in having no title on an album that many miss. It opens the corridors of just what is to be expected. Yeah, okay the cat is out of the proverbial bag as they say on this one being Death Metal, and it’s a fucking angry growling evil cunt of a thing to behold let me tell you, but it still lends a certain sort of mystery to things that I quite like. Yeah let us not bring up Metallica and the Spinal Tapesque “Black” album, because NO ONE expected that, but you get my drift ha-ha. To put it into context, Ash recorded this during one of many lockdown periods the UK went through due to that Corona thingy, and he could have done just about ANYTHING really. Bored, many a beer, he could have given us his own take on just about any type of music! Some classical stuff perhaps? Some free style Jazz? Maybe he could have turned his attention to the trombone and made some sick whale noises over the top of a toilet flushing..
No. Ash decided to go with what he was BORN to do. MAKE FUCKING DEATH METAL. Sure “Wretched Incarnate” has some blast beats, and some d – beats, and a shitload of other stuff tucked into its ten tracks of utter brilliance that you probably SHOULD expect, but the thing that makes it so much more credible is the fact that it drips with both sincerity, and intent. He loves what he loves, and he does what he feels is true to himself on this one. No bullshit, sure you may pick up a little influence from bands like Six Feet Under (earlier stuff), and of course Cannibal Corpse, some Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, Benediction, a tad bit of many a band. Regardless, the end result is, to say the least, fucking spectacular!
Notable mentions must be made to Kieran Scott (Ashen Crown, Grimorte) for guest vocals on “Undeathly Conception,” and Sam Fowler (Raised By Owls) on “Creatures Of The Underworld.” If you have not heard any of their stuff, we highly recommend you look them up!
The question mentioned at the start is thus, and becomes many a thing. Are you a fan of Death Metal done right? Are you prepared for this onslaught of sheer magnificence? Why haven’t I discussed the music song by song and taken you by the hand like your mummy and led you to your yummy dinner..
The answer is a simple as the decision to ‘self title’ an album. You will find out if you listen. My fave? “Hypodermic Syringe Theory.” If this track doesn’t make all you fat lazy cunts out there get up and boogie, hernia or haemorrhoids or otherwise you have no idea of what Death Metal is all about. This also reminds me of a quote or two from one of the latest Batman movies. Odd, yes, but it fits.
“You think Darkness is your ally, but you merely adopted the dark. “I was born in it moulded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man and by then it was nothing to me but blinding.”
Ash, with Wretched Incarnate here, is just beginning to show that he indeed, was born of the dark, the deathly, and the magnificent. May the light never touch him, so that we get all the excellence he has to offer for ever more.
Rating – 5/5