Incantation
Profane Nexus

After one of the more successful comebacks of the last few years with 2012s Vanquish in Vengeance, death metal legends Incantation had a quick turn around with 2014s Dirges of Elysium, a solid album, but a bit of a step back with a cleaner, more sterile production and a bit of a rushed sense of song writing.

Well, back home on Relapse Records, everything is right with the world on Incantation’s 11th album, and third since their reunion. First, the production is absolutely perfect. Now with Dan Swano the only chef in the kitchen (the last release had a host of recorders, producers, mixer and engineers) , the guitar tone strikes a perfect balance between the murk of Vanquish, and  a modern, hefty, punishing sound that isn’t too clean or clinical, conveying Incantations’s grimy, churning miasma perfectly.

Song writing wise, Profane Nexus delivers that goods exactly as you’d expect from John McEntee. Aided by long time drummer  Kyle Severn again, and bassist Chuck Sherwood, the 10 songs and 1 interlude (The classically named “Stormgate Convulsions from the Thunderous Shores of Infernal Realms Beyond the Grace of God”) are a superb mix of twisty turny, murky blasts and absolutely cavernous, more doomy, loping oozing riffs that are the album highlights.

“Muse” gets things going with nice, dare I say one of Incantation’s more varied, shifty riffs before a slower, menacing atonal lurch takes over. Then you get a wide array of numbers  with varied paces and speeds; “The Horns of Gefrin” and “Omens to the Altar of Onyx”  deliver sturdy double bass romps, while “Visceral Hexadron” and “Incorporeal Despair” delivers the album’s descents into a true funeral doom, Evoken like plods, and it’s downright eerie.  After “Incorporeal Despair”, as if to reset the palette, “Xipe Totec”  blasts by in a minute, perhaps a nod to the pasts past like “Blissful Bloodshower from Upon the Throne pf Apocalypse.  “Lus Sepulcri” and “Rites of the Locust” trundle by with an almost Bolt Thrower like pummeling simplicity. “Messiah Nostrum” teases another super slow, doomy crawl but morphs into a more feral assault but ends how it started, with a massive doom lope, and it’s these moments where McEntee and co truly shine.

The album lacks the vast 10 (or 16 minute as with “Elysium (Eternity Is Nigh)”) number that closed out the last two efforts, but standout closer “Ancients Arise” while only 6 minutes long,  still delivers a slow crawl with a massive riff about 2:30 in that absolutely destroys everything in its path only cementing that Incantation might be the old dogs on the block, they certainly have plenty of bite.

I never considered myself an Incantation fan back in the 90s, but their comeback had me go in search of their earlier albums, and Profane Nexus easily stands up to their great early efforts, and with the new production is actually the best of their reunion efforts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 14th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jay

    Kick ass review dude. I’m a long-time, diehard fan and always loved their warped, doomed-out take on the style. Great live band too.

    I hold the first 4 in pretty high regard. And I think all of their albums have some kick ass stuff. I’m liking this one more than Dirges so far and it’s on par with Vanquish for damn sure.


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