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Review: Ares Kingdom - Incendiary
Ares Kingdom

Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
Year released: 2010
Duration: 49:06
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: March 6, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 3.79/5 (75.76%) (33 Votes)

Ares Kingdom are a true underground outfit, having existed in the depths for 14 years and still remaining almost unknown. The long-overdue release of their excellent debut Return to Dust back in '06 started to change that and get them the recognition they deserve. Now here we have their newest effort, the sophomore Incendiary. As I expected this disc sees the band branching out and doing more than just thug Death riffs – some of these experiments work, some of them don't.

This is a more technical album than the debut, but don't take that to mean that Ares Kingdom are going the Decrepit Birth clickety-click school. No, this is still slow to mid-paced Death Metal with a heavy influence from bands like Pestilence and Asphyx. The guitars don't sound as heavy this time out, but the lead work is sharp and brilliant to balance that out. I do detect a tiny bit of jazz influence on the playing, and I find that worrisome, but it's just a trace. Overall I find this more complex and impressively played than the debut, but also less memorable, less heavy, and less cohesive. Lots of bands have a sophomore slump, and this is definitely Ares Kingdom's. They wanted to show they were more than just another Death Metal band, but they are going in too many directions at once. Death Metal requires a singularity of purpose and a unity of intent – it won't stand too much experimentation without becoming something else altogether. Ares Kingdom need to focus on what they do best before they decide to try anything else.

Other related information on the site
Review: By the Light of Their Destruction (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Return to Dust (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with guitarist Chuck Keller on September 30, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarist Chuck Keller on March 6, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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