Incursed: Spanish Pagan Metal with an Edge
Written by Brett Kihlmire
Forming from the shared love of heavy music held by Sergio C. Bravo (guitar) and Narot Santos (bass/harsh vocals), Incursed originated in Aranda de Duero, Spain, as just a two piece folk/pagan metal unit. It wasn’t until Santos moved to Bilbao, a city in the Basque country of Northern Spain, that the band would expand and secure a full line up.
Incursed rounded out their first full lineup with Asier Amo (drums), Jon Koldo ‘Jonkol’ Tera (vocals/keyboards) and Lander Martinez (guitar) in 2009. A few months later the band developed their style into a cohesive style that blended their original folk/pagan metal sound with black, power and death metal. This culminated in their debut extended play Time to Unsheathe Our Rusty Swords, which the band proudly self-produced.
Some might say they can hear a touch of Wintersun, Ensiferum, Children of Bodom, Immortal and Sonatic Arctica in Incursed’s music, but the band works hard to stand out from the pack and no imitate their heroes. Thankfully a couple lineup changes have helped the band evolve over time. However, lineup changes have been a consistent issue for the band, for as of this writing they’re down a guitarist and currently stand with the following members keeping the band alive: Amo (drums), Jonkol (vocals/keyboards), Mikel Llona (bass) and Lander Lourido (guitar/vocals).
Main issue admitted by Amo and Jonkol regarding the lineup changes is that the band has been students up until this point in time (and some members still are). Having to focus on day jobs, schooling and the band has put a strain on Incursed, especially when crowdfunding campaigns haven’t had quite given the desired results until recently. Fortunately, the band hasn’t given up and has released four albums and three EP’s since formation. Their latest release was Amalur, which released September 25th, 2017.
Despite the band sticking it through for the last decade, getting their music heard outside of Spain has been a consistent challenge. Regardless, the band has earned its fair share of fans abroad, especially in Canada, Brazil and Japan, and has had many successes such as playing in place as far away as Italy and Ukraine. As well, they’ve shared the stage with numerous metal legends including Immortal, Grave Digger, Korpiklaani, Sodom, Eluveitie, Suidakra and Ensiferum.
“We remember a great party with Cruachan in Ukraine. Awesome guys! We (accidentally) broke the wooden floor at the backstage in Carpathian Alliance fest with people from Immortal and 1349 watching everything. You know, a bit of excitement after having played in front of hundreds of crazy Ukrainians… and some (very few) beers,” Amo and Jonkol recall fondly.
Though they haven’t reached many of their goals such as touring outside of Europe, the band has had its fair share of success. Some might say it’s due to the fact that the band’s lyrics touch on a subject that very few bands are touching. After all, in a world filled with Viking metal and high fantasy, isn’t it refreshing to hear about legends and history from the Basque culture for a change? Of course, their stage presence is a big hit too.
Rather than focus on costumes and backdrops, Incursed takes an old school approach to their stage show. To be blunt, they just go wild and get the crowd revved with catchy melodies, wild rhythms, and crowd engagement. Least to say, if you’re not banging your head, singing along, or just going crazy to the beat, then you’re not enjoying what Incursed is offering. So if you’re able to catch an Incursed show, then remember to “keep on pagan” and you’ll be alright.