Released: 2014, Relapse
Reviewer: Addison Herron-Wheeler
Incantation have now been ripping it for 25 years, which in death metal years is a pretty long time. These guys have always been known for playing a sludgier, doomier blend of death metal, and they never really embraced the hi-fi, polished and technical sound even when that was the big thing in death metal. Now the crunchy and low-res sound is back in, but can these guys stand the test of time and still put out good material 25 years after their initiation?
This album is definitely not a disappointment; it still delivers, as far as good death metal goes, and it still sounds as doomy, low-fi, and groovy as ever. However, the overall presentation is a bit underwhelming. The title, DIRGES OF ELYSIUM, is a bit generic, and the art is not especially great. A few of the songs, like “Impalement of Divinity” and “Carrion Prophecy,” have some catchy hooks and thrashy sounding riffs, but other than that it is a bit hard to keep track of which song is which and how far along the album is. In other words, the songs themselves don’t stand alone perfectly, and the “flow” of the record leaves a bit to be desired as well.
This album will be a great addition to your collection if you are a fan of the band, but if not, this won’t win you over. It sounds similar to much of their other material, good but not great. So if you already have their other records, this isn’t an ILLUD DIVINUM INSANUS/Morbid Angel scenario where they just shouldn’t have made a record’; it’s worth having. However, if you aren’t sold on the band, it might be better to save your money for something a bit more dynamic.