ALBUM REVIEW: Incantation – Sect of Vile Divinities


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.Continue reading


Incantation – Profane Nexus


How to word this? Profane Nexus (Relapse Records), the tenth studio album from New York death metal institution, Incantation is not bad. Good even. Longtime followers need not concern, there is enough Death and Doom to go around on Profane Nexus, but I just feel like more could’ve been left out on the field this time around. Continue reading


Incantation – Dirges of Elysium


 

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Long-time Pennsylvanian Metallians, Incantation, are back with their 10th full-length studio album Dirges of Elysium (Listenable Records). Though the Death Metal mood remains the same, this time around, they’ve taken to exploring the concepts of the Elysian Fields. A realm for the afterlife as originally described by Greek religious sects and cults, that held reservation for only those in relation to the gods. A place untouched by sorrow and shielded from storm. In their blasphemy, it seems, no human is fit for this luxury. The hierarchical ranks, set to determine what we deserve and the upbringing of faith through which some of us are indoctrinated has set the stage for an indignant rebellion. To tear down the walls of this incestuous Eden and expose it, void of self-righteous desires. Released on Listenable Records in June, as with their last 3 full-length albums, Incantation seems to have developed a good working relationship with these guys.

Despite family medical issues in the background, guitarist/vocalist John McEntee has managed to stay focused and on top of his game as the only original Incantation member, releasing his insanely catchy riffs and gutted, raspy vocals on ‘Dirges of Elysium’. Starting off the album with their title track, a spiral of ambient guitar work erupts from a sludge of deathly riffs. This instrumental track echoes with a ton of reverb and feedback from their cabs; rich and sizzling with anger.

Albums highlights were ‘From a Glaciate Womb’ who’s frost bitten stagger, transforms into a chaotic blizzard of ghastly double-pedal, cold, heavy bass tones and scratched up vocals shreds. It may be too repudiative for purist Death Metal fans, but the Doom goddess in me negates that sentiment. How can you deny those glorious drum fills?

‘Impalement of Divinity’, what a sacrilegious title. This track is brutal from the get-go and makes me want to headbang till my neck snaps. Kyle Severn’s pedal packs the punch of a battering ram, occasionally soothed by McEntee wailing on his guitar, rich and shimmering like liquid gold. Structurally this piece has spectacular production and on the engineering side, a good use of compression and attention to tone. Bass holds up the undertones of the guitar work on this album, despite being unneeded to showcase it’s isolated presence boldly. Sometimes a great bass player just knows when enough is enough.

With the final track, ‘Elysium (Eternity is Nigh)’, it seems like Incantation was testing us. As much as this album had been classically, there immensely catastrophic and pummeling presence, a 16:23 death/ doom track came a bit unexpectedly for most. To some, it’s been the turning point that flipped their opinion from “Shit, this is one of the best Death Metal albums of 2014.” to “Why the hell couldn’t they have edited it down? It sort of ruined it.” On the other had, I admire the band for taking a step forward into what has a bit of a Iverloch/Disembowelment vibe. Regardless whether we’ll need to agree to disagree on that one, Dirges of Elysium is definitely worth a listen by any Death Metal fan.

7.5/10

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CHRISTINE HAGER