They’re still thriving, after all these years. God bless… er, um, damn them. You can’t fucking physically kill them, not even with knives! John Macintee’s Incantation is a shambling zombie beast whose only aim is survival. Everyone should have at least one Incantation album in their collection.

Blaspemy‘s cover is pure Bosch — with a disembodied goat head impaling an angel with its tongue in the midst of a vertigo-inducing hellscene. Aurally, Blasphemy is a muddy hybrid of death and grind. It’s damn evil, and thrilling stuff.

Incantation’s style, even in the wake of so many pretenders (often the children die before the father in this case), is still markedly original in the death metal scene. Largely eschewing speed or thrash influences, the Incantation sound is more spiky and doomy. Blast beat swathes give way to plodding double bass, and painful tarpit riffing, with the only constant being MacIntee’s inhuman snarl. Gutteral and dank, it compliments the teethgrinding sloth riffs nicely. It’s all about torment, claustrophobia, the slow kill. I’d call them doom metal, but Incantation is almost a little too dark for that, if that’s possible. Their songs sound like they start deep in your inner ear, and burrow their way forcefully out through bone and tissue.

Incantation is death metal, through and through, been so for years; but death metal on their own terms, grinding, downtuned, Luciferian and morbid. With Incantation, the black metal years, the grindcore years, simply never happened — they stand steadfast in the shadows of Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Autopsy, and Obituary. A darker, more eerie, urban variant of the death metal sound. Blasphemy leaves a distinctly dark red fog around your eyes.

Necropolis Records:

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