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The Forsaken Mourning Of Angelic Anguish

Incantation - The Forsaken Mourning Of Angelic Anguish ©1997 Relapse
1. Shadows From The Ancient Empire
2. Lusting Congregation Of Perpetural Damnation
3. Triumph In Blashphemy (Interlude)
4. Forsaken Mourning Of Angelic Anguish
5. Scream Bloody Gore
6. Twisted Sacrilegious Journey Into Our Darkest Neurotic Delirium
7. Outro
8. The Ibex Moon
9. Blasphemous Cremation
10. Essense Ablaze
11. Blissful Bloodshower

About as subtle as unexpected punch in the nose, the legendary and newly revamped Incantation remind the world that they're still rumbling about with this mini-CD. Marking the departure of longtime vocalist Craig Pillard (who stuck around long enough to record session vocals), the band rumbles through low-tuned death metal anthems to goats, blasphemy and even nod their musical heads to Death, covering the classic "Scream Bloody Gore".

While the hardcore death metal enthusiast will love this album "to death" (just a joke, sorry), the fact that the band is still entrenched in the early 90's death sound is somewhat annoying to a fan who might want just a bit more. In my case, I was actually pleased that they buried the inhumanly low vocals in the mix as they are much more effective as an ethereal background demon presence than if the sound engineer had poked them right into your face. "Outro" features some harsh ambient sound collages, somewhat similar to the more dissonant Controlled Bleeding, so apparently the band isn't completely blind to other styles.

At the end of the day, anyone who still likes to thrash about their room and thinks subtle techiniques are best left to synchronized swimming will find this short CD a well constructed slab of sonic torture.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1997

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Diabolical Conquest

Incantation - Diabolical Conquest ©1998 Relapse
1. Impending Diabolical Conquest
2. Desecration (of The Heavenly Graceful)
3. Disciples Of Blasphemous Reprisal
4. Unheavenly Skies
5. United In Repungence
6. Shadows Of The Ancient Empire
7. Ethereal Misery
8. Unto Infinite Twilight/Majesty Of Infernal Damnation

Incantation isn't a band that is going to make it easy for a non death metal fan. Nope. They are proudly a death metal band and they will not stoop to such things as identifiable melody or play less than sixty riffs per half second. To be honest, I can respect their music to the degree that they aren't going to compromise anything and their nearly ten year existence is a testament to that. And often, while I listen to this CD, I heard some pretty damned killer riffs more often than once. But those sudden tempo changes and lack of distinctiveness between songs only serves to frustrate me. I can easily stamp on the Seal of Approval for anyone who is into the American death metal scene because this is a strong piece of work that is well produced and played. Lyrically, they tend to be vewwy vewwy scwewy in their attempt to destory God and heaven and Daniel Corchado's sub-gutteral style (which carries the torch well for departed vocalist Craig Pillard) mutilates any sense of enunciation. (That's the point, I suppose.) However, for me, this sort of music tends to make my insides all bunched up and I'd rather hear something with a bit more melody and less claustrophobic.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/1998

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The Infernal Storm

Incantation - The Infernal Storm ©2000 Relapse
1. Anoint The Chosen
2. Extinguishing Salvation
3. Impetuous Rage
4. Sempiternal Pandemonium
5. Lustful Demise
6. Heaven Departed
7. Apocalyptic Destroyer Of Angels
8. Nocturnal Kingdom Of Demonic Enlightenment

I've always wondered what it is like to be completely stunted in personal growth and constantly dwell in the same paradigm for more than half a decade (if not more). Does one still find personal satisfaction in repeating the same behaviors and thinking over and over? Or does one secretly wish to break out of the box, but refuses to for fear of backlash from those who hold certain expectations? Incantation might very well be able to provide us with some insight into this matter since they seem entirely cemented into their basic death metal sound and refuse to change even one iota. And even though the vocalist position has seen many different cookie monsters in charge, there doesn't seem to be any discernable difference between previous "singers". So my question is what people will get out of this album that they haven't already heard from both Incantation and other bands who play this particular brand of death metal. At what point does saturation finally set in? I suppose if you are a rabid fan of this genre, Incantation will do splendidly in fulfilling your needs but this band has little, if anything, to offer those who think low gutteral sounds, downtuned guitars, blast beats and rumbling riffs aren't necessarily the be-all, end-all of "extreme" music. I know Incantation probably has no desire to appeal to anyone outside of their chosen circle of listeners and that's the point behind their music. The Infernal Storm is certainly competent but original or necessary? Hardly. Run out and get this record if you still can't get over this sort of music. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and just let this one rot on the shelves.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2000

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