Metal Review: Incantation – Vanquish in Vengeance (2012)

Incantation - Vanquish in Vengeance (2012)Death metal legends Incantation has always been a strange band with me. They felt out of place and way ahead of their time. Being formed in 1989 by John McEntee and Paul Ledney, the former of which is the only original member left in the band, they became one of the leaders of the New York death metal scene with fellow bands Suffocation and Immolation. While Incantation now makes their residence in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, they are undeniably a New York band from way back and will always be considered such. New York death metal bands were known more for their dark atmosphere than the catchy riffs from death metal bands from Florida, Sweden and other areas where death metal began to sprout up. Some would say that New York death metal bands have had more success than their counterparts as well.

Having taken the lead vocal reigns for the past three releases, John McEntee, while not as vocally eery as original singer Craig Pillard, has grown into the role as being the bringer of evil growls for the band. Incantation is all about the atmosphere and always has been. They have painted a musical blood splattered portrait with each passing release and each song adds more elements to this evil and vile image.

Tragedy struck the band in early 2012 with the death of former bassist Joe Lombard, and to McEntee’s credit, he was able to pick up the pieces and bring Incantation closer to his vision for the band.

With the release of Vanquish in Vengeance, Incantation’s eighth studio release, and first since 2006’s Primordial Domination, Incantation is intent of securing their place in death metal history. While the evil, down-tuned sounds remain, Vanquish in Vengeance turns out to be a departure from what we’ve heard from them in the past. The second half of the album takes a different approach with a slower, more brooding take to their sound, while remaining firmly rooted in death metal.

Overall, Incantation is back, quite possible stronger than ever. Only time will tell with that, but I do know for sure that Vanquish in Vengeance is a death metal release to be reckoned with.

Vanquish in Vengeance Track Listing:
1. Invoked Infinity
2. Ascend Into the Eternal
3. Progeny of Tyranny
4. Transcend Into Absolute Dissolution
5. Haruspex
6. Vanquish in Vengeance
7. Profound Loathing
8. The Hellion’s Genesis
9. From Hollow Sands
10. Legion of Dis

Incantation Line-up:
John McEntee – guitar, vocals
Kyle Severn – drums
Alex Bouks – guitar
Chuck Sherwood – bass