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I still don’t completely grasp what the beef was between Relapse records and Incantation over the band’s second album. Originally titled and released as Mortal Throne Of Nazarene, the band went out of their way to bitch about the mix and insist that a more unprocessed version be issued under the title we’re dealing with in this here review. And so with no difference in the tracks, except for an inverted running order (turn that cross upside down, man!) and a somewhat nastier production job, we have Upon The Throne Of Apocalypse.
Whatever the path it chose to get to us, I’m glad it persevered, because like the band’s debut, this is pure unadulterated well-constructed death metal par excellence. The feeling of clandestine, slowly emerging catastrophe is a trademark of the Incantation sound, and that slow unfolding of disaster is very, very present on opener “Abolishment Of Immaculate Serenity,” which takes it’s time (8+ minutes) to unravel it’s scroll of black divination. We get blasted into grindcore land with “Blissful Bloodshower,” but with the crawling riffs of “The Ibex Moon” we’re right back to what Incantation do best; deliver a death metal motif with songs that sound like the musical accompaniment to the Angels of the apocalypse marching towards sinners to be deposited in the pits of Sheol.
Again boasting a vicious sound job (what do you expect, even the rough original mix wasn’t sick enough for band leader John McEntee) Incantation proved their place among death metal’s deadliest again here. And although McEntee would be the only man left standing after a mean-spirited and acrimonious departure of all his fellow band mates, nothing can end evil this sublime.