Incantation have reached a couple milestones in these past few years. First, celebrating over thirty years as a band. The next is the release of Unholy Deification, the group’s twelfth album. Incantation get straight to business on “Offerings” with its thrashing tempos and the band’s signature oozing riffs. Frontman Jon McEntee’s guttral vocals have not eroded one bit as this track clearly shows. “Concordant” opens with a slow, twisting riff over a tribal drum pattern which speeds up as Kyle Severn lays some hard blast beats. The violence intesifies on “Chalice” with its relentless blast beats and tremolo guitars. This track pulverizes the listener for over half the track’s duration before the band briefly segues into a galloping riff, before resuming the brutality.
A grim, descending riffs opens “Homunculus”. The track’s slow tempo is accentuated with unorthodox guitar riffs, that convey an apocalyptic atmosphere. The dissonant guitar solo howls like a wandering spirit. A megaron was a rectangular hall in Greek palaces used to conduct religious ceremonies in ancient times and a fitting Incantation song title. McEntee growls “Those of the swarm, created by smite/A bare pyramid of this sacrificial rite” thus denoting the purpose of a megaron. The constant rhythm changes create a sense of predator and prey. The intended human target scurries to survive, but is ultimately captured and slaughtered. “Altar” opens with demonic screaming and dissonant guitars before a rolling drum beat cautiously moves things forward before ending with spoken word. “Circle” is a doom laden affair that concludes the on a downtrodden note.
Unholy Deification is roughly 41 minutes long with most of the tracks around four minutes long. Incantation’s unique playing style is on full display. The disjointed, swampy riffs interspersed with manic blast beats is here. Unfortunately, the tracks can hark on a riff too long which very slightly dulls the experience. The production is great, as the guitars have a full bottom end and the drumming is crisp and sharp.
Incantation can add another notch to its storied career. Unholy Deification continues the trajectory the band has enjoyed since 2012. It does not reinvent the wheel, but Incantation is a wheel of its own. No band can replicate it and that is what matters. Kneel at the unholy altar of death metal.
Check out the band’s official website here: https://www.incantation.com/