November 14, 2014 | , | 4

Incantation, Dirges of Elysium

Incantation: Dirges of Elysium

Incantation have always been strong purveyors of a murky sound. For the most part, the band’s discography is mired in muddy overtures. That all seemed to change with 2012’s Vanquish in Vengeance. That particular album wasn’t nearly as murky as previous releases which. I felt it was fine, but I know die hard fans of the band cried foul. Dirges of Elysium has the band taking a step back, combining that open presentation with the swampy production of albums past. The result is bestial to say the least.

For the most part Dirges of Elysium brings a smattering of Incantation — the good and bad — to the death metal table. Some songs are a bit flat and too lengthy (especially for the band’s sound) while others are on par with some of their more classic material. The group is also keen to add a little melody and thrashing vitriol in an effort to keep from miring in their own dismal swamp.

The opening title track does have a very “dirge” quality to its instrumental two minutes. From their the group let’s loose with “Debauchery” — a straightforward, driving death metal track if ever there was one. The song is rampant in it’s pile-driving pace as sole original member John McEntee tosses riffs around like a child’s toy, belting out vicious, guttural vocals in the process. The song has a bit of melody to the main riff that reminds a bit of Hail of Bullets. “Bastion of a Plague Soul” is violent death metal to a tee. It delivers some seriously nasty drum work courtesy Kyle Severn as he keeps pace with McEntee’s rapid guitar work.

“Carrion Prophecy” is a crawler with an awesome opening riff that will have you head banging along just as methodically as the band marches forward at a mid gallop, erupting briefly just to make sure you’re keep up. This is one hell of an addictive song. Aside from the sixteen minute closer, “From a Glaciate Womb” is the next longest song on the album weighing in at a lengthy seven and a half minutes. It’s a thickly, dense song, but still runs a bit too long for my liking. “Impalement of Divinity” contains an opening series of riffs and chugging gallup that calls Slayer to mind, albeit a murky, buzzing Slayer.

Dirges of Elysium has a little bit for everybody, combining the murkier elements of older material with the slightly more polished influence of Vanquish. In the end, however you spin it, it’s all still Incantation through and through. McEntee (and crew) is at the point now where he’s going to do whatever the fuck he feels like doing, regardless of what you think. So sit back, grab a big beer and enjoy some destructive doom/death as only these guys can deliver.