Author: Dustin Ekman
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.
Genre: Blackened Screamo
Label: Skeletal Lightning
I was sent this promo of Flesh Born‘s Han EP today, and I’ve already listened to it a few times. I’m hearing new things in it every time it repeats itself, too.
Obviously, the black metal elite will hate this, as it is not trve kvlt black metal, and many post hardcore/screamo fans will hate it because it has too many metallic elements in it. But people like me, who listen to tons of strange shit and who love both black metal and screamo and finding new sounds in both genres will like this a lot.
There’s a distinct lack of keyboards on this album, which I am loving. It is pure guitars, bass, drums, and voice bringing in an occasionally dry-feeling atmosphere that is freshened by slow moving post metal leaning guitar sections, like a cool rain over the desert. Grindcore inspired drumming underneath a wave of absolutely nihilistic blackend riffs drop into a soft Alexisonfire-like interlude, then kick you in the face again with some Mayhemish chaos.
Lyrically, the songs are written like crust. Personal thoughts about the outside world, directed towards someone else. Unlike crust, they don’t seem to be political at all, except maybe “Unforgivable”, which is a kickass song. They are very depressive, nihilistic, and misanthropic, which is what I love the most about this band.
Over all, I definitely recommend getting this.