Album Review

Incantation- Unholy Deification

Legendary death metal band Incantation is releasing their latest effort “Unholy Deification” August 25th on Relapse Records. The long standing saying “You cant teach an old dog new tricks” rings true in many cases. In this instance “Don’t fix what isn’t broke” best applies to this scenario. Incantaion has been pumping out solid efforts in their 30+ year history, even their last few releases. “Sect Of Vile Divinities” was such a good album from 2020 and proves the older band DOES in fact still have it. Their riffs are just as punishing as they were decades ago and they still have that drive. It’s a rare thing for long tenured bands to put out good releases later in their careers. I think “Unholy Deification” is a continuation of that success “Sect Of Vile Divinities” started 3 years ago.

Lyrically, “Unholy Deification” originates with Chuck Sherwood. An avid reader and occult logician, the Incantation bassist wanted to capture a fully realized concept of evolution through enlightenment. Expect thought-provoking, historically derived intellection. The mortal-to-deity narrative interacts with the merciless musical conflagration of hard-hitting tracks such as “Concordat (The Pact) I,” “Homunculus (Spirit Made Flesh) IX,” and “Invocation (Chthonic Merge) X”. Make no mistake – the ferocious new album, featuring guests Jeff Beccera (Possessed), Henry Veggian (ex-Revenant), and Dan Vadim Von (Morbid Angel), is pure death metal.

Incantation’s sepulchral pandemonium is visually enhanced by award-winning artist and longstanding collaborator Eliran Kantor (Immolation, Kreator, Cavalera, and more.) The end result is an interpretation of Italian Renaissance masters but thrust into Incantation’‘s cauldron of chromatic malice.

John McEntee comments, “I’m not interested in playing it safe. I think other people feel that there are limits to what we do. However, I don’t see it that way. If it feels right, then it’s Incantation. The songs we write are an honest expression of ourselves. When people hear the new album, I hope they think, ‘Why are these guys so pissed off?!’ Rage gives focus, which is why this album turned out the way it did.”

Now for the actual music, it’s what you expect from Incantation but a little more concise. The guys tend to have some longer 5-6 minute songs but for the most part kept it to 4 minutes a song (sans the last track which is almost 6). It’s still the same heavy Incantation you’ve always known, just a bit more to the point and a little less doomy (they are known to slow it down a bit in some of their songs). “Unholy Deification” proves the old dogs know what they’re doing and supports that theory. They are aging like a fine wine, as cliche as that is. The guitar riffs are still engaging, the rhythms are fantastic and John’s voice still sounds stellar at said age.

Incantation has nothing left to prove, they’re one of the best bands of all time in this wild genre called death metal. The fact they’re still around playing and also releasing good albums is an amazing thing on its own. The guitar solos are pretty good beneath the chunky ass death metal riffs. “Unholy Deification” drops on August 25th on Relapse Records and should be a welcome addition to any death metal fan’s library.

Categories: Album Review, Death Metal

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