October 16, 2013

Incantation - Vanquish in Vengeance

Cover art by Worthless

It is always exciting when I browse a new label Bandcamp for the first time. My aim is to discern which albums are good, the end goal to decide which one I will ultimately be writing about. I carefully listen to tracks (sometimes whole albums) from many of them, before I make a hopefully well informed decision.

Not so much on the Listenable Records Bandcamp. My entire decision making process was "THE NEW INCANTATION?? HELL YEAH!!"

Perhaps it's the Dan Swanö production, perhaps it's a fuck you to the legion of bands usurping the Incatation legacy, but on Vanquish in Vengeance the band sounds fresh and energetic; quite a feat considering their long career (nine full-lengths since 1992's Onward to Golgotha). The basic Incantation blueprint is still there - as Doug Moore/IO writes: "Stiff-limbed blasting exists to set up stinky doom slowdowns. It’s a common ploy now, and it offers no surprises. Incantation is simply better at using it than virtually anyone else".

There are little tweaks here and there, for example feedback and pinch harmonics are put to great use in "Transcend into Absolute Dissolution"; but mostly it's "just" a collection of muscular riffs bolted onto a rock solid set of songs. The biggest change is in the sound. Very gritty and raw (love the guitar sound!) but without the murkiness usually associated with the infamous Incantation sound. You still got the heaviness and the oppressive atmosphere; the clarity of the mix somehow makes it even more crushing.

My favorite songs are the aforementioned Transcend into Absolute Dissolution, the ritualistic Profound Loathing with the interesting drum patterns and atmospheric soloing, and of course the brutally slow funeral doom of Legion of Dis. But really, there is not a bad moment to be found, Vanquish in Vengeance is simply a great death metal album.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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