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classic death metal - 95%

Daemonlord, July 4th, 2011

Incantation are somewhat of an institution in the world of Death Metal. Even though their career has been plagued with line-up changes, occasional dips in form and record label wrangles, John McEntee and co. still keep on plugging away with the same drive and uncompromising vision they had from the get go. Most people sing the praises of the band's debut more than any other of their releases, but for me, their 1998 release "Diabolical Conquest" saw them hit the jackpot.

Featuring the talents of The Chasm frontman Daniel Corchado on bass and vocals, "Diabolical Conquest" had all the crushing riffs, throat tearing vocal work and percussive destruction to make even the casual fan of Death Metal sit up and pay attention. Wrapped in a thickly claustrophobic aura, the album has an impressive feeling of barely controlled chaos at times, with razor-sharp riffs spinning and slicing through the air threatening to eviscerate at will. The main thing with Incantation however is their ability to draw the listener in with their powerful atmospheres, which invoke the most dissipated iniquity you could possibly imagine. With "Diabolical Conquest" you can almost imagine a ghostly black arm manifesting from your speakers during playback, reaching towards you with its whispy smoke-like fingers in an attempt to drag you back to whichever malevolent realm it emerged from. Either that, or those weren't paracetamol that I've just taken. But anyway, I digress. Ending things off with "Unto Infinite Twilight / Majesty of Infernal Damnation", it's plain to hear that Incantation penned one of the most devastatingly epic Death Metal tracks ever recorded. Hell, even Vital Remains would blush at the sheer scale of it.

Whichever way you look at it, Incantation certainly got their sound down pat on this album. The force of their attack is as destructively vicious as it ever was, and the overall feeling you get after listening to it makes you question whether the album's blueprint was originally buried in some dark chasm, written in ancient scrolls and inked in virgin's blood. Good shit.

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