Sometimes when lost in the grieving process it's nearly impossible to appreciate the clarity that distance can cast on personal tragedies. At its core "The Incurable Tragedy" is a conceptual effort written around the cancer-related loss of three of primary songwriter Tim Roth's friends and family; but with hindsight the decision to memorialize them with an album may not have been the wisest choice, despite its noble intentions.
Sure a tempest of musical emotions is unleashed, but a lot of it may only serve as therapeutic for the band themselves. As with the groups last offering "The Scattering Of Ashes", a maelstrom of technical ability is fervently on display with progressive melodic death metal being immaculately played. Razor sharp riffs, King Diamond-like air raids mixed with bestial growls and enough finger dexterity to snap even the heaviest gauge of strings.
Sadly though, it would seem that the groups continual line-up changes have begun to take a toll however, as while they do play with high caliber precision, they don't play with a feeling to match it. Furthermore, there's a certain disconnect between the falsetto-laden vocals and the lyrical content, enough so that the weighty subject matter can come off as sterile due to a lack of unbridled emotion behind it.
Similarly the instrumental portion of the album is impeccably precise and while there are some tuning chances taken, it also suffers due to an absence of emphatic feeling behind the playing. It's understandable that the sorrow associated with this album would see the bands heavier side curtailed a bit and that is forgivable. But the seeming inability of the rest of the band to capture the profound sense of loss integrated into the core of the songs by Roth is off-putting.
Enough so that there are multiple times where passages that should be heart wrenching instead come off as stiff, and sadly, a bit cheesy. That's not to say the band have doomed themselves with this opus though - It readily continues with the path the band embarked on with their previous release. It's just that while vulnerability is ingrained in the songs, not every member of the band sounds as though they were close enough to the situation to instinctively convey it.
(3 / 5)