Unholy Deification

The creators of cavernous unholy death metal, Incantation, once again return to the table with Unholy Deification.  A 10-song 41-minute album that is not quite on par with their last album, Sect of Vile Divinities, which I reviewed three years ago, and which I hailed as one of the finest albums they ever crafted.

One thing that is odd here is that are Roman Numerals after each song.  One would expect if an album had this as a highlight that the Roman Numerals would be in order, but they are not, and I am unsure why that is the case.  This album also boasts guests Jeff Beccera (Possessed), Henry Veggian (ex-Revenant), and Dan Vadim Von (Morbid Angel), which is all super cool.

“Offerings (The Swarm) IV” starts with the isolated guitar and then right into the fast part –  John McEntee – Guitars, Vocals, Kyle Severn – Drums, Chuck Sherwood – Bass and Luke Shively – Guitars all once again back to murder all our souls.  There are some squealing guitar sounds, after the fast part, some slow downs and then around the 1.55 mark is pure classic death metal gallops, circa 1991.  John’s vocals seem to be bellowing a little deeper on this new album, or so it seems, to these ears.  Regardless, this is a nice fast-paced opener with many tempo shifts.

“Homunculus (Spirit Made Flesh) IX” is a slow-burning track, kinda like an old school 70’s horror movie.  We get opening pinch harmonics and a brooding sense of dread, as the slow moments get into more of some of their signature doom-death style and the guitar tone is heavy, yet catchy.  The vocals moments at the 1.38 part is very cool, as the song traverses into the drone-like guitar sound, again, that is prevalent in this song, it’s almost hypnotic, and John gurgling and screeching along the way, as if he is in pain.  But let’s do a brief rewind, because my readers and friends know me to be a walking encyclopedia of metal, this 1.38 moment…I am like…hmmm, I have heard that moment on something before and I ask you good reader to do a side-by-side comparison with a song off German death metallers Atrocity’s, 1990 and best album, Hallucinations.  The song is “Defeated Intellect”.  FFWD to the opening, 25 second moment with the down-shifted guitar riff and vocal pattern, along with the doomy moment.  At some point with the thousands of releases over the years one is bound to come across similar moments between bands – just thought I’d point that out to you all, ‘cause I am a metal nerd.

“Altar (Unify in Carnage) V” is another highlighted track, with the doomy and heavy opening landscape carving out nice demonic sounds erupting from the pits of hell.  John’s vocals sound especially putrid and filthy on this song.  I think this would be a killer song for the band to play live on their opening tours.  This is one of the doomiest songs they have ever crafted.  Slow, dirgy, filthy, and crafting a stark and gloomy picture.  “Circle (Eye of Ascension) VII” is the longest song, but still a bit under 6 minutes and closes the album in doomy fashion.  Some very good double bass drums and the rhythm section is on fire, because it’s super tight, and the chorus comes through nicely with some of the guests, as I previously mentioned.

Sect of Vile Divinities, in my opinion, is a better album than Unholy Deification, because it was catchier and a bit more memorable.  “Unborn Ambrosia”, “Entrails of the Hag Queen”, “Scribes of the Stygian” were just too damn catchy and memorable and some of the best songs Incantation has ever written.  This album cover has a hellish monstrosity on the front, but it is difficult to make out a face and where the creature stops and ends.  Maybe that is the point of the artwork, perhaps?

Unholy Deification is a solid Incantation album, with all the heaviness, doom, and evilness we all know and love about the band.  There are some killer songs and moments on this album, however, at times some other songs, just kinda whiz by me, without any lasting effect.  This album may not hit you right away, like some of their previous releases, but does grow on you, after repeated listens.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
August 21st, 2023


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