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Incantation – Sect of Vile Divinities

Sect of Vile Divinities
by Eric Poulin at 16 September 2020, 12:10 PM

INCANTATION is a Death Metal band from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. They were part of the very first wave of Death Metal in the States and catalysts of the genre with the Florida scene. They have been active since 1989 and this is their 12th Full-Length album and first since ‘’Profane Nexus’’ back in 2017. It’s been a stable lineup since 2008 and yet they added the talented Luke Shively on guitars replacing the departing Sonny Lombardozzi.

John McEntee has been at the helm of vocals since ‘’Decimate Christendom’’ and has put his mark on the sound of the band. The band has been throughout hundreds of lineup changes but the revolving door of musicians made for various experimentations throughout the years but you always had the presence of Kyle Severn and the aforementioned John McEntee. They stick to the guns as to lyrical content, drawing influences on satanic and occult themes while aiming a harsh attack of Christianity and Religion.

The album is a mixed bag of vintage brutality and early Death Metal influences. Nothing much is changing from the other albums beforehand, probably a better mastery of production. Digging deep in the East Coast Death Metal roots, they churn out something equivalent to raw aggression and not Extreme Metal like a number of bands in the genre and sub-genres. The formula is tried and true and it’s still very reminiscent of early MORBID ANGEL and AUTOPSY. You have your slow Doom elements, yet you have those grinding blast beats throughout the album. The album does not hold your hand, the moments of respite are few and far between.

They do have a few distinctive songs off this opus. ‘’Ritual Impurity’’ seems to be straight out of CANNIBAL CORPSE territory but with a much denser and clearer guitar sound but with the same violent attitude. ‘’Guardians from the Primeval’’ channels the Gothenburg Death Metal sound and it is a nice departure from anything else on this album. They even added some keyboards on the beginning of this one which really made me think of bands like IN FLAMES and DARK TRANQUILITY back in the day.

Aside from the fact that they are from this first wave of Death Metal, they have a far more experienced technical side, more than the average Old School Death Metal band. You absolutely have that unrelenting aggression, but the undertone of the band shows some serious musicianship. It’s chaotic at times but the sole crushing heaviness combined with some Thrash Metal elements delivers an all-out assault. It pulls no punches and it is a far more cohesive album than I would have thought beforehand.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Ritual Impurity (Seven of the Sky is One)
2. Propitiation
3. Entrails of the Hag Queen
4. Guardians from the Primeval
5. Black Fathom’s Fire
6. Ignis Fatuus
7. Chant of Formless Dread
8. Shadow-Blade Masters of Tempest and Maelstrom
9. Scribes of the Stygian
10. Unborn Ambrosia
11. Fury’s Manifesto
12. Siege Hive
John McEntee – Guitars and Vocals
Chuck Sherwood – Bass
Kyle Severn – Drums
Luke Shively - Guitars
Record Label: Relapse Records


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