Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 23 April, 2019
Who remembers Incubus? Anyone who instantly named that limp wristed funk-nu-metal-alt-rock ‘90’s band from California behind pap such as “Drive” and “Wish You Were Here”, hand in your metal card now. I’m talking about the death/thrash band called Incubus that took shape in the late ‘80’s. This Incubus was founded in 1986 by brothers Rio de Janeiro natives Francis and Moyses Howard after they immigrated to New Orleans, Louisana. After recruiting bassist Scott LaTour, the band unleashed their excellent debut, Serpent Temptation, in 1988. Soon after LaTour left and the band followed up with the solid but weaker sounding Beyond the Unknown on Nuclear Blast Records in 1990, recruiting new bassist Mark Lavenia along the way. However the band’s new line-up was shortlived as they broke up in 1991. At this point, it’s easy to see how the name Incubus was taken by another band.
They reappeared in 2000 but the band’s previous moniker had been well and truly bastardised by the aforementioned California rock act and the Howard brothers were forced to change the group’s name to Opprobrium. They released a new album, Discerning Forces, at this point, and in 2008, their earlier releases were reissued by Polish label Metal Mind Productions alongside the band’s fourth LP, Mandatory Evac.
The one thing that always sticks in my mind is the power of Opprobrium’s first two releases back when they were called Incubus. Their debut is more well-rounded sonically but both albums set the bar high for future releases. Since then though, they’ve come up short. To a degree, The Fallen Entities does too. The problem is I cannot put my finger on why that’s the case. It sounds crushing, the songs are there, the riffs are plentiful, the vocals guttural and the drums are raging. Opprobrium – and I can never ever get used to calling the band by that name even after all these years – have certainly returned with an album that highlights a good mix of death and thrash metal. But somehow, even after repeated listens, I find that The Fallen Entities just fails to leave a lasting impression. I like it, sure. It’s enjoyable to listen to but it just isn’t jaw droppingly amazing. Maybe my expectations were too high, but the songs here at times tend to blend a little offering no real distinction between tracks after a while.
Opprobrium will always be Incubus to me and to many other metal fans as well. We will always have those first two albums as well. The Fallen Entities might be Opprobrium’s best release since that time and I think it’ll get across the line with long-time fans. For those hearing about the band for the first time ever, this certainly wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
High Roller Records