Author: Dustin Ekman

Music Review: Incantation – Dirges of Elysium

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Incantation - Dirges of Elysium

Genre: Death Metal
Label: Listenable Records

Incantation have been around since ’89, consistently delivering solid albums of pure blasphemy and hate unto the masses, and unfortunately for the masses, they have been largely kept as a cult band, an underground monstrosity worshipped by only the truly enlightened.

And that does not seem to be changing with this album, Dirges to Elysium, which sees Incantation keep the death metal slow and heavy, bringing in the same wonderful funeral doom elements that keep their faithful in the flock. Beautiful passages of menacing guitar lines played with melody along with guitars, bass, and drum tones that djent chuggers would kill for (and none can achieve the same way) are just a scratch of the dirty surface that is Dirges to Elysium. There are layers to this album, and each listen slowly allows you to see them clearer.

Amazing lead guitar lines that bloom into solos that defy imagination (and previous albums) are all over the place. Rhythmic heaviness, one of Incantation’s calling cards, is spine crushing, and John McEntee’s bowel rattling vocals are everpresent as usual, possibly even more so than ever before. The overall speed of the album is markedly slower than Vanquish in Vengeance, the last outing, leaning farther into funeral doom territory.

Kyle’s drum tone, I feel, is better on Dirges to Elysium, having a clearer sound to them, and Chuck’s bass is even more pronounced, giving the album a much rounder sound.

The best tracks for me are “Charnel Grounds”, which features an awesome all-bass outro; “From a Glaciate Womb”, which is intensely heavy and slow, then faster as hell, and nice and long; and “Impalement of Divinity”, which is a fast and brutal assault from all corners with a kickass wah solo at about 1:25 in.

In all, I’d have to say that Dirges to Elysium is one of Incantation‘s best. I can see it ending up on quite a few “Best Of” lists at the end of the year, and I think it will become a fan favourite. Fans of their previous outings, Suffocation, Immolation, Disembowelment, and Encoffination (who paid tribute to Incantation with their logo) should definitely be fans of Incantation if they aren’t already.