Incantation is one of those bands that every metalhead knows about. Hailing from the East Coast, these guys have been around for over thirty years and have always made their presence known in the scene. From consistent album releases to endless touring, Incantation is an act that has dedicated everything to their craft. These veteran players continue to carry the banner for old school American Death Metal on their eleventh full-length, Sect of Vile Divinities (Relapse Records). Released last month, their grim and gruesome sounds gurgle to the top of the scuzzy cesspool of heaviness that they have created.
All your happy feelings will succumb in the first few moments of the opening track, ‘Ritual Impurity’. Original member John McEntee‘s screeches immediately soar as his venomous vocals declare the hate that resonates on each one of these songs. Then the listener will get the band’s gloomy side on the second track, ‘Propitiation’. The sludge of the guitars seep in a dirty distortion that creates these genuine, but slightly repetitive hooks.
The band’s typical themes of evil swell on tracks like ‘Entrails of the Hag Queen’ and ‘Black Fathom’s Fire’. They display a furious speed and even crank out some rather zany guitar solos. ‘Chant of Formless Dread’ startles you in the middle of the record with it’s primitive ‘oomph’ and blastbeat goodness. The drumwork by Kyle Severn provides a punchy chaos through his varied tempos. On the flip side, tracks like ‘Ignis Fatuus’ and ‘Scribes of the Stygian’ offer some somber bitterness under the glorious canopy of doom. Their ability to interchange speed and sludge and then back again is impressive. The second half of the album holds the highlights, ‘Unborn Ambrosia’ and ‘Fury’s Manifesto’. There is more aggressive foreboding on the last tracks and the energy it kept up till the end. Each member has this ability to cast out a primal creepiness that ends the album on an eerie note. Incantation stepped up their game on this release and even their production quality is similar to the greats like Deicide and Cannibal Corpse. This record is twelve tracks of constant severity. It’s rude, harsh, and unrelenting from beginning to end.
6 / 10