Released: 2012, Listenable Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
For twenty years, Incantation has called the seedy underbelly of the U.S. death metal scene home. Trends have come and trends have gone, but one of the few constants in the world of death metal are the traditionalist juggernauts like Incantation. Alongside bands like Autopsy, Acheron, and Master, John McEntee and crew just do what they do, no matter what the flavor of the f@#kin’ week is. And I find that entirely refreshing. As expected, the band’s latest full length studio release, VANQUISH IN VENGEANCE (album #8 methinks?), is exactly what you’d expect from Incantation at this point - uncomfortably raw and unrelenting death metal, wrapped in a turgid shroud of doom and desolation that sounds like it was recorded in the stall of a rest stop men’s room. And it’s awesome.
If you’ve never listened to an Incantation record before, head’s up – it ain’t pretty. Nor is it intended to be. There are no frills, no snazzy djent solos, no keyboards, nada. Just a dickload of guttural vocals, ripping six string riffs and Kyle Severn’s non-stop percussive assault. The songs on VANQUISH IN VENGEANCE can be divided into two camps – “Fast, fast, fast” and “slow, turgid funeral procession”. Which has long been the band’s style going back to ONWARD TO GOLGOTHA, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. For the best of the “fast, fast, fast” – check out opener “Invoked into Infinity”, “Ascend into the Eternal” and the punishing title track. For the “slow”, “Profound Loathing” aches from the oppression of the religious masses, while the 11 minute epic coda “Legion of Dis” is powerful and uncomfortable, devolving into a wall of chants and feedback. Dee-Light-Ful.
Is VANQUISH IN VENGEANCE the best Incantation disc yet? That’s debatable, as there’s a ton of classic material in the band’s catalog, but at the very least it ably meets whatever expectations you may have going into the listening session. Said otherwise, it’s the best Incantation disc until the next one. VANQUISH IN VENGEANCE is available November 27th through Listenable Records.