Incantation – Dirges of Elysium – Listenable Records

The tradition rages on.

If the name of Incantation doesn’t ring you any bells it’s because you’re not a real death metal fan and are inside death metal because you think it’s a fad.

One of the most traditional and influential bands of all time, they release a new album time and time again to the pure delight of real headbangers, never deceiving their glorious past of classics with albums such as Onward to Golgotha, Mortal Throne of Nazarene or The Infernal Storm, all them steady statements of their legacy and of what death metal is all about: satanic, perverse, heavy and unrelenting.

This time around it couldn’t be different, of course, and with Dirges of Elysium they add another chapter to their own pantheon of classic albums and believe me or not, this one is still more perverse and heavier as their only demigod status could admit.

Buzzing guitars, unintelligible bellows of one and only John McEntee, disgraceful basslines and terror-flick-like riffs, all in the name of good and immortal music.

Of course, not anybody will get their brutal doomish sound (poseurs for example) but who said this is for anyone?

Songs like Debauchery and Bastion of a Plague Soul raze all death/black metal bands around and I dare say this is the one of the best albums of 2014. (Sure, it’s in my list).

But one of the archetypes of Incantation sound is the track Carrion Prophesy with a mix that only them are capable of: faster than speedy of light sounds with an all out snail paced doom metal, always maintaining their heaviest-than-a-thousand anvils sound, so dense and obscure that its thickness is palpable.

From a Glaciate Womb is not different and the menacing guitars can bring nausea to the non-initiated: then everything explodes in a brutal succession of filthy and disgraceful sound from the abyss, only to suffocate those who are in their satanic path. The serpentine riffs are so confusing that they’re orgasmatic and the constant changes that the song is submitted makes us think that we are inside of maze of darkness and endless despair, albeit the drone confusion by the end of the music leaves the things more and more threatening and apocalyptic.

Portal Consecration looms over our heads like a storm of pure torment and death: obscure licks along with imminent death metal assault leave no prisoners. The sound is a jackhammer of evil and damnation.

The larger than life last track called Elysium (Eternity is Nigh) is a doom death metal so condensed that leaves all other wannabe doom metal bands sounding like a picnic at the kindergarten. This is the real deal.

Incantation is not a band to kid with. They are the undeniable purveyors of the real death metal mightiness and glory. They are the example that so many bands across the globe (mainly in this double crossed internet era) miss and take death metal for something else. If one has to learn something about a style, ask Incantation and you shall find the answer.

Dirges of Elysium is out now on Listenable Records.

(Daniel Death)

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