Incarnate Deity - Theodicy
Vision of God Records
Christian extreme metal
8 songs (28' 27")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Andy
Surprise of the month

From South Africa we get the unusual combination of Christian symphonic extreme metal: Incarnate Deity's Theodicy (the word refers to theories that attempt to resolve the problem of evil in a universe controlled by a good God). A first listen didn't do much for me, but it has proved to be one of those records that I end up coming back to again and again over a period of weeks.

Based on their list of influences, I expected lots of high-speed operatic excess, but the the riffing, even at its fastest and most complicated, is a soft-edged affair, mixed smoothly in with background choirs and minimal keyboards. There are some fast, Northern-sounding bits on some of the tracks, such as Valley of Dry Bones, but minor-key melodies, almost Middle Eastern in style, predominate along with staccato crunches. Soloing is rare, but it shreds when it makes an appearance.

Though the one-man band's instrumental strength is in the guitar work, this is a surprisingly rhythm-dominated album. Zerachiel's crunching riffs glom together with his death-metal growl and complex drum programming to put most of the punch in the album in the lower end, especially in my favorite track, the finale Finis Noctis, held up by a great riff. No Quarter, a tribute to his late father, is another good one, showing off some more of that rhythm guitar riffing mixed in with a little keyboard riddle on top.

Theodicy seemed pretty unassuming at first, but I found myself liking it a lot more as I listened to it a few times. This is quite a promising little album for a newcomer in a niche genre.


Killing Songs :
No Quarter, Finis Noctis
Andy quoted 79 / 100
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