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A Breathless Affair - 53%

Evokaphile, March 23rd, 2017

As the pioneers of death-doom, and widely regarded as benchmark artists in the world of extreme metal, Incantation's illustrious reverence is well deserved, boasting a roster of superb albums peppering the span of a decade. However kind the 90's may have been to them however, the turn of a new millennium bode a hazy omen for the band as the diabolical inferno of their brilliance began to reduce to warm embers over the years to follow. The post-90's Incantation wasn't the same; it wasn't as convincingly evil, it wasn't as decrepitly cavernous, and it wasn't nearly as inspired as the same band a decade prior. Not until 2012's Vanquish in Vengeance did we witness the band re-kindle certitude in their own prowess with markedly more inspired songwriting and motivated execution. This zealous comeback further cemented the notion that Primordial Domination was the last album that saw these blasphemous Pennsylvanians riding a steady decline into breathless affairs, and with its tepid nature this album makes a good case for being Incantation's career low-point.

In lieu of its detriments make no mistake, this is Incantation through and through, and those easily satisfied by tried and true formulism will assuredly find this a satisfactory album. Nonetheless, there is little substance beyond the standard conventions of their style. The riffs lack the memorable infectiousness of prior works' candor and abusive genius. Meanwhile the production here lacks the colour and personality of following releases, leaving much to be desired both aesthetically and physically. However, Primordial Domination does boast a number of redeeming moments that breathe a modicum of life into the music. The few standout tracks, like the hostile battle-march of “Lead To Desolation” or the anguished blasphemy of “Stench Of Crucifixion” are mildly quenching teases of Incantation’s known potential. Though still driven by the contrast of infernal death metal riff assaults and burgeoning descents into doomy catacombs, the formula here is markedly more homogenous, adding another demerit to an album that struggles to captivate. McEntee’s voice sounds lighter here, slightly more ghastly with a degenerating absence of his markedly sepulchral stature, scantily seasoned with but a handful of convincingly tortured screams. Furthermore, the drums are preformed with consistent but never flashy competency, adding up to little more than a standard and otherwise boring performance. Primordial Domination, while never truly faltering in its craft, remains impressively monotonous throughout.

The issue at its core is that there are just too few interesting moments on Primordial Domination to make it worthy of sharing shelf space with their infamous back catalogue. A notably solid release hindered by the lofty expectations of the band’s legend, the end result sounds a lot like Incantation doing an exhausted imitation of themselves. Seemingly masked by a disingenuous personality that keeps the organic malignancy of their actual capabilities from truly showing themselves, their seventh studio album will forever be relegated to collections of die hard fans and the dusty bowels of death metal archives.

(Originally published on

Another album worthy of praise - 98%

ozzeh, April 25th, 2008

Immolation, Incantation, and Suffocation set the fucking standard for USDM release in and release out. You can always expect good things from these juggernaut brutal death metal masters, but some are more consistent than others (Suffocation get your shit together).

Incantation differentiate themselves because like Asphyx, Incantation rely on a heavy doom backbone to accentuate their bone-crushingly deep riffs. Technicality is not the point of Incantation's music although as with all great death metal masters, technicality is always present.

Vocally speaking it is Incantation. That means bowel-shatteringly low guttural declarations of blasphemous venom on a 24/7 basis. The riffs are simplistically hypnotic. The drumming is of the double-bass variety that stimulates the mind as opposed to dulling the senses.

Tempos vary greatly with the songs and they play doom rhythms at a very high speed at the most opportune times. This is traditional metal-laced with excellent classic, speed, and doom metal influences throughout every devastating song.

The production is fucking professional and the result is brutal in a non-stereotypical way. This is death metal for those who eat, sleep, and shit the stuff. Wholly rewarding, Incantation always seem to impress one with their labyrinthine guitar leads and sadistically demented vocals and lyrics. The sheer originality does not hurt at all either.

By far the best album I've heard in months.

Consistency, thy name Incantation - 82%

orphy, July 11th, 2007

Incantation is a band that's always been known for integrity and consistence. Over the span of their near two decade career, the band has released seven full lengths, a few EPs, and done more touring than most bands old and new have ever done. In short, Incantation is probably the hardest working band in metal. So, has all that hard work paid off with their newest offering, "Primordial Domination"?

Just one listen will convince fans old and new that Incantation is still releasing killer material. This album features all the key ingredients to any Incantation album... unholy death metal riffs, trudging doom metal sections, pummelling scissor blast beats, astounding finger played bass work, and vocals spewing forth blasphemy. Yup, everything one would expect to hear in an Incantation album is here.

This album is essentially "Decimate Christendom Part 2", which in turn was "Blasphemy Part 2". The same line up is here as was on "Decimate Christendom". First, let's get into the song writing. The album opens up with an instrumental jam which turns out to be a good way to intro the album, something Incantation has never done to open up an album before. It reminds me of one of the endings to a song on "Blasphemy" where they just play some drawn out chords and build on it in signature Incantation style. The next song opens up with an incredibly memorable riff, and from there on in, it kicks some pretty heavy ass! There are quite a lot of great tracks on here, some feature more slower parts like "Dissolute Rule/Begin Apocalypse", where others like "Lead To Desolation" feature total ripping riffs that turn out to be really catchy. In fact, "Lead To Desolation" would probably make a great single, and is much in the same vein as the song "Dying Divinity" from the last album.

John McEntee handles vocals once again, and while his stamina appears to be improved from the previous album, the pitch of his voice appears to be a bit higher. Of course, this is no real problem as it sounds much like any Incantation vocalist after Craig Pillard was in the band. I should also comment on Joe Lombard's playing on this album, as it is as tight as ever. It is a real shame he is no longer with the band, as he seemed to be an active part of the lyrical aspect as well as playing a role in the song writing department. His lyrics are much like McEntee's: short, descriptive, and sweet. Kyle Severn's blasting is as sharp as ever, and McEntee's riffs are the same as always: diminished, evil, and twisted! His lead playing is also a treat to hear, as he ends up pulling off some very effective work.

The production on the album is very fitting. Everything can be heard clear without being overdone at all. In fact, it sounds like the recording was relatively simple. No triggers, no bullshit, you know these guys played these songs with a lot of energy. A definite plus, and what one would expect from Incantation. The production is on par with the last few albums for sure.

There is nothing that Incantation can do wrong. From their full on death metal speed, to their doom sections, to the overall arrangements of the songs, this is an excellent record. This won't win them any new fans, but it certainly won't make them loose any. If you've liked any of their albums since "Diabolical Conquest", this album will click instantly. It is evident that Incantation will never release a bad album.