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Incantation
Decimate Christendom
October 2004
Released: 2004, Olympic Recordings
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

Incantation have been pounding the pavement of death metal for a long time. Their first demo was released way back in 1989 and ONWARD TO GOLGOTHA, a pinnacle of 90s death metal, was released in 1992. Since then, a revolving door of members have come and gone from the band with Jon McEntee being the sole remaining original member. After 2002’s BLASPHEMY, McEntee was forced to take over on vocals as well as maintain lead guitar duties and DECIMATE CHRISTENDOM is his recording debut. As a vocalist, McEntee certainly fits the bill, but is nothing fabulous. His doomy/death riffs are the real highlight, though. Incantation remains true to their old school death roots on DECIMATE CHRISTENDOM as the sound is dense, dark and utterly hideous. Pro-Tools did not get anywhere near this record and it almost sounds like things were recorded in one take, warts and all, and that was just fine, thank you very much. No frills, no studio trickery…just good old-fashioned blasphemous death metal done well by a veteran band.



The title track is an uncompromising slab of evil that gets things underway in just the right fashion. “Blaspheme The Sacraments” is the standout track on the CD. It goes from unrelenting heaviness to slower, doom-filled passages then gears up for another breakneck run at the jugular. Joe Lombard’s bass is fabulous here as he captures the mood perfectly. Former Vital Remains/Acheron skinsman, Kyle Severn, hits the drums in a furious barrage of double bass that begins at 2:45 that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. As for the rest of the tracks, nothing really stood out. The songs merely exist and throttle the listener for 43 minutes, which is not a bad thing, but certainly not anything to make me reach for this CD on a regular basis, either. Two instrumentals are found here: “Unholy Empowerment of Righteous Deprivation” and “Eternal Darkness Under Conquered Skies.” The former is a minute of droning atmospheric feedback that, despite its brief length, is a test of the patience (hence the title, I suppose), while the latter is a slow, full band offering. What makes them interesting is the placement in the running order of the CD. Usually an instrumental will act as a bookend or be somewhere in the middle to allow the listener to take a breather. Not so here. The final track, “Feeble Existence,” begins quiet and then seems to fade in as if the engineer slowly turned the volume level up for some reason. I would be curious to read the band’s reason for breaking protocol on the instrumentals issue and just what the deal is with the fade in, too.



DECIMATE CHRISTENDOM is not an outstanding album by any means. The playing is good, the songs are good and the band clearly knows how to piss off the Christians. For fans of raw, unrelenting death metal with nods to old school and doom, it might be worth checking out this CD.



KILLER KUTS: “Decimate Christendom,” “Blaspheme The Sacraments”
Track Listing

1. Decimate Christendom
2. Dying Divinity
3. Oath of Armageddon
4. Blaspheme The Sacraments
5. Merciless Tyranny
6. Horns of Eradication
7. Unholy Empowerment of Righteous Deprivation (Instrumental)
8. Thorns of Everlasting Persecution
9. No Paradise Awaits
10. Eternal Darkness Under Conquered Skies (Instrumental)
11. Feeble Existence

Lineup

John McEntee—Vocals/Guitar
Joe Lombard—Bass
Kyle Severn—Drums


Next review: » Incantation - Decimate Christendom
Previous review: » Incantation - Decimate Christendom

Incantation
Decimate Christendom
November 2004
Released: 2004, Century Media Records
Rating: 3.1/5
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos

Incantation does what they do very well. I think of them as one of those indefatigable “workhorse” bands that pumps out another solid album year after year, without materially changing their style, their focus or their place in the metal world. Metal doesn’t have as many of these kinds of bands as it used to. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is debatable in the scene, but from my perspective it appears to be a fact.



What can I tell you about DECIMATE CHRISTENDOM that you probably don’t already know just from seeing that it’s a new Incantation release? Aside from what isn’t going on here—they haven’t sold out, they haven’t cut their hair or gone pop or mallcore, and they haven’t deviated substantially from their previous body of work—I don’t know that I need to give Incantation fans another reason to buy this disc. Conversely, if you’re not already a fan, I seriously doubt DECIMATE CHRISTENDOM will turn you into one. From the first track (the title track), on through the remainder of the album, each track drips with crunchy guitars, rage-filled Cookie Monster vocals, and the barest hint of a doom metal sensibility. I love doom, and I think Incantation are at their best when they’re bringing it out well, so my favorite tracks were “Oath of Armageddon” and “Horns of Eradication,” the latter so relentlessly punishing—yet strangely slow—that it stands out (for me) as the highlight of the album. On several tracks, such as “Thorns of Everlasting Persecution,” I detected the same blistering “math-metal” shred that Nile mixed so successfully with an Egyptian theme. It’s all very solid stuff, but you know what you’re getting from beginning to end.



There’s not a lot of innovation here, and I don’t suspect there was intended to be. DECIMATE CHRISTENDOM will not be remembered as a landmark album or some kind of apogee in the history of death metal, or even of the band’s discography, probably. But it won’t detract from their prestige either. This gets back to what I was saying about Incantation being a “workhorse” band. They set their sights on making a good album, and remaining true to the longtime fans and their own past material. They have succeeded brilliantly. If your expectations are in line with the band’s, I’m sure you will judge DECIMATE CHRISTENDOM a success.
Track Listing

1. Decimate Christendom
2. Dying Divinity
3. Oath of Armageddon
4. Blaspheme the Sacraments
5. Merciless Tyranny
6. Horns of Eradication
7. Unholy Empowerment of Righteous Deprivation
8. Thorns of Everlasting Persecution
9. No Paradise Awaits
10. Eternal Darkness Under Conquered Skies
11. Feeble Existence

Lineup

John McEntee – guitar/vocals
Joe Lombard – bass
Kyle Severn – drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Incantation - Dirges Of Elysium
Previous review: » Incantation - Decimate Christendom





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