Incura establishing roots with self-titled record
Theatrical and progressive metal has taken a sidestep in the recent wave of metal music, with the exception of European greats of course. One Canadian band, cherishes that artistically driven symphonic metal.
Born and bred in Lethbridge, Alta., Incura actually established their fan base on the west coast of Canada, mostly in Vancouver. Speaking with lead singer and founder of the band, Kyle Gruninger, he explained why the band finally released a full-length album after a string of EPs over the years.“We had to grow as musicians, and grow into who we are as a band,” said Gruninger. “Through the process of growing up, we decided that we wanted to take the time now, lock ourselves away, and really focus on writing and musicianship.”
He continued on to say that he felt that they owed it to their fans to throw out an actual album.
“I didn’t just want to put out another record. I really think the fans deserve GOOD music, and I put a lot of thought into the process and lyrics. I think it really shows on the album.”
The grouped formed about ten years ago under their first name, and between both names and the transition, they’ve previously released five EPs on their own: A Way Out (2003,) Is Everyone Ready to Face What We’re Fighting For? (2005,) swords.souls.secrets (2007,) The Lost EP (2009,) INCURA (The Tour EP, 2012.)
After just signing with Coalition Records, the band finally had the backing and support needed to track themselves in the right direction, and focus on their art as a whole.
Now they’ve finally settled down, and arranged a combination of songs new and old into a definitive collection of material which they released as a self-titled album in early 2013.
“We’ve been working together for a very long time as you know,” said Gruninger. “We kind of got together with Coalition Music and the guys, and decided that it was time to put out a record, that would really set the standard and set our place that we wanted to set ourselves in. We took our heart and souls and everything we had, and put it all into one album.”
The band is inspired and influenced by a mixture of video game symphonies, and the aforementioned metal music from European groups. Even the name of the band, is derived from their old name In Vein, and a spell from the Final Fantasy game series called “Cura,” which is a second-level healing spell.
“The creativity of the music you mention, is just that. They aren’t afraid to create 7-minute long theatrical progressions. There’s more incentive for me to write those epic albums, that you just don’t see anymore.”
Above the originality of their progressive composition and colour outside the lines style of writing they possess, Gruninger’s singing leaves the listener somewhat in awe. When asked about his unique vocal range and talent, Gruninger credits both growing up in a musically inclined family, and many years of choir as a child and adolescent for his sonic pipes of glory.
“I’ve been singing for a long time. Genetically it runs in the family, my mother and sisters all sing. Music runs in my family. I sang with choirs growing up and traveled a lot. Through the years, it slowly progressed to what my voice is now.”
As usual, he professed that as it is with anything in life, practice makes perfect.
“It was a lot of work. I strongly believe that if you put your 10,000 hours into anything, whether it be welding or building witchits or whatever the fuck it is you want to do, [laughs] you’re going to be good at it.”
Asked about his personal favourite off the newest album, Gruninger stated that “Sweat Runs Cold” is the dearest song to him. An older song that has appeared on previous EPS, he was extremely happy with being able to rerecord and master the song to exactly where he wrote it to be.
“That song I wrote when I was young, almost ten years ago. That song was written during an important time in my life, as a small town farm kid trying to make big decisions. Singing and my band was all I had, and this song was about going for it, and pursuing what I truly wanted to do with my life.
Although the group had been around for nearly a decade, the future is looking bright for these symphonic heavy-rockers. With their first full-length behind them, and a feeling of security and solidarity within the group, they’re focused primarily on progression from here on out, new material, new shows, and a new album in the works will make for a full plate for Incura in 2014.