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To Vile the Kingdom Underwater - 55%

Petrus_Steele, January 13th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Relapse Records

With the amount of profanity, blasphemy and obscure themes the band wrote from their hatred of the church and religion to mere evil entities, this time they dive deep and devoid of divinity. Not much has changed since the band joined Relapse Records, but you’re getting a quantity of songs, unique titles, and the same production. With Sonny now being an official member, the band has another session musician; one young Luke Shively from Dismemberment. He played (or still plays) live bass for the band since 2015 and recorded guitars on this record. It’s sure an honor to have a younger member in a pioneering band like Incantation.

Sect of Vile Divinities offers unique songwriting and instrumentation; whirlwind of fast melodies, striking pitch harmonics, nice overdrive effect on the guitars, the expected doom metal stuff, and an uncomfortable atmosphere. Maybe the drums sound a bit more thrash-like, but not bad. However, I didn’t notice that considerable change in the overall approach to the new music. It sounds like the Incantation we all know, but nothing too mind-blowing.

The opening song has the old school sound with a bit of tweaks of the band’s origins, while songs like Entrails of the Hag Queen and Scribes of the Stygian are on the other end of the spectrum; the atmospheric sound. They also contain a few melodies. More rhythms, explosive solos and blast beats on the shorter songs like Guardians of the Primeval and Chants of Formless Dread, to break the formula. And across the whole record, John’s magnificent death growls are a steal, as always. It’s not the first time the band recorded a quantity of songs than the usual eight to ten, but they’ve offered quite the variety to choose from, as you can tell.

Musically, the record is an improvement over Profane Nexus, but it was a struggle to listen through. It felt as though the band saved all the great material on the second portion, and even then, it lacked a lot of ambition, sometimes energy, and that aggression I miss listening to. As heavy or as brutal as the band can sound, it’s just nothing compared to Vanquish in Vengeance that I can’t stop crediting. With said improvement and a lot of potential like the previous record, it was another dull listen. The best songs are Scribes of the Stygian and Unborn Ambrosia.