Released: 2012, Listenable Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
For almost a quarter of a century, Incantation have stood alongside the likes of Suffocation and Immolation as not only one of the leading lights of the USDM scene, but one of the most brutal and innovative exponents of this particular brand of extremism as a whole.
This, the band’s eighth album – their first in six years – is a typically dark and brooding monstrosity, a true beast of an album, truly befitting the long overdue return of John McEntee and his current troop of death metal soldiers to the frontline.
‘Vanquish…’ hits hard and heavy with ‘Invoked Infinity’, McEntee’s growling vocal almost spitting the lyrics with venomous ferocity over his characteristic deep guitar sound, while the incredible blastbeating of Kyle Severn drives the main riff along at an almost blood-curdling pace – which is kept up, if not surpassed by the awesome ‘Ascend Into The Eternal’, which is one of the best death metal tracks you will hear this millennium.
‘Transcend Into Absolute Dissolution’ is the first track to see them move into the traditional doom mien which has always set them apart from almost all of their DM contemporaries: it’s an influence which has always given Incantation a much deeper bottom end, and this is emphasized to full effect on this track, which draws heavily on Sabbath for its crunching main riff.
The doominess is carried on into ‘Haruspex’, which comes the downbeat main theme with a crushing, breakneck riff and another downright demonic vocal from McEntee. After this double onslaught, the title track is initially disappointing, but this is quickly rectified, particularly by the impressive old-school thrash metal guitar line – which would sound out of place in lesser hands, but works extremely well here – and another amazing performance from Severn.
‘Profound Loathing’ rumbles out of the speakers with a low, downtuned bass riff, which is slowly and effectively picked up by the guitar melody, as the song develops into a true epic of deathly doom, the song changing and re-changing tempo with an almost graceful ease. ‘The Hellion’s Genesis’ and ‘From Hollow Sands’ are both towering, doom encrusted DM gems, while loser ‘Legion Of Dis’ is thoroughly and epically evil, built on a wall of pitch black ambient guitar wails, interspersed with demonic chanting and suitably grinding vocals.
‘Vanquish In Vengeance’ is an awesome return from one of the true giants of the scene, a superb exemplar of how proper death metal should be played, especially in the hands of such aficionados of the genre - and well worth the wait.
Review by Mark Ashby