Sonny Lombardozi, lead guitar, Chuck Sherwood, bass, Kyle Severn, drums and John McEntee on vocals and rhythm guitar are the primordial forces behind Incantation, an American Death Metal band founded in 1989. Premiering their 11th studio album presented by Relapse Records, Incantation continues to rain down the doom in Sect of Vile Divinities. A descent into the worlds of unearthly and ancient deities, an exquisite curse drifts through Sect of Vile Divinities.
Incantation opens their 2020 release with the sinister riffs and shivering and shaking pulse of Ritual Impurity (Seven of the Sky is One) . This introductory track guides you through a haunting window to a horrible and looming future, Led by the writhing roars of founding lead vocalist John McEntee. The chaotic lead guitars strike like lightning bolts, the rhythm sputters sulfuric clouds in the wake of each strike, and the bass harmonies sink you to the erupting hellscape where the drums guide each pulse and burst of magma. Abandon all hope, all who enter, the lyrics warn of the temple of death and the ritual sacrifices to appease an exquisite goddess of vengeance.
Propitiation brings the listener to a slower, sludgier outskirt of the Sect of Vile Divinities where winding bolts lead the exposition of the narrative behind the offerings at hand. The dark pulsating bass undercurrent curves and cradles the bends of the rivers along the march towards the ritual ground. The ignorant passage to a cruel atrocity of humanity to keep their wombs safe. Propitiation describes the mourning of mothers as they offer their newborns for Lamashtu, a sumerian goddess who menaced mothers.
And with every offering comes its reward. Entrails of the Hag Queen excoriates the ancient monstrocities that conduct the vile sins of man. In a grotesque stretching and compressing of melodies and tempos the rhythms chug along the guts of the principle melody. A dazzling epilogue to a violent and unspeakable deed of sacrifice, This track transgresses its tune to a defiled and mutilated state. Taking slow and steady steps away from the altar as the ancient horror emerges.
Like an insects legs hitting the ground, the shaking kick of Guardians of the Primeval introduces extraterrestrial and supernatural forces and arcane spectral voices brought as the lead guitars solos offer textures of gravel and steel. This introduced element evolves the sound to a deeper and even more dismal atmosphere. Characterizing the beings brought forth in the ritual is executed in the rhythms and grooves echoing after the voice cuts the air.
Black Fathom's Fire is a blessing of pure evil with its demonic and volcanic vocals, tortuous rhythmic swings through hell are conducted by the submerged and magnetic bass grooves and rounds of the searing lead. Acquires divine insight through a dreamlike and sleepy shut out and hypnotic melody. The bestowed melody awakens the weightless charms of the ancient blood, and spills over into Ignis Fatuus, or Will O The Wisp, where the spectral vision begins to smolder into an unmentionable horror. The nefarious atmosphere of the melodies conspire dark and malevolent terror, and guide the listener back to the dark fire.
The sinister melody of Ignis Fatuus sells the temptation to stare into void to gain its blessing, but Chant of Formless Dread reveals that to hold this boon is a taxing and waning curse. The completely dysphonic and harmonized melodies unveil the monstrocity and all of the atrocities commited in raw light. The sputtering beat captures the fear and anxiety that comes with being faced with a gargantuan primordial presence. McEntee's vocals speak for the deeply unearthed god-form demanding recompense from antedeluvian sins.
Shadow-Blade Masters of Tempest is just as high fantasy as it sounds. Peering into the gloomiest depths, the elder god commands the demise of the the offerers, and summons a storm on the land in order to demand more blood recompense. The song opens up with a conspiring decry of arcane revelations made prevously in Black Fathom's Fire. The signature grooves and riffs in Sect of Vile Divinities reaches their isthmus as they harmonize into a buildup to a downpour of destructive crashes and stormy clouds of rhythm.
Scribes of the Stygian preludes a grotesque and spectral horror by describing a vision which will pull the thirst for sacrifice lower into the dungeons of the spirit. Beholden to the eldritch terror lying beneath, that in order to continue to satiate the sacrificial rite, the newborns must continue to be offered, or else be damned to stygian and ancient terror. Which lends itself to the title of the horror deep beneath emerging in Unborn Ambrosia, the collective tissue of sacrifices prior and to be consumed in its entrance. The heart beat bursts through dirt, blood and viscera and sprouts violently in encroaching scales. Writhing rhythms in both guitars empower the chaos of this uncontrollable monstrocity. A prayer to the sacrificial "lambs" in order to attain peace through extinction, the black robed mutter;
"A sacrifice vital to our ascension. A crusade on life to abandon, You never were to share in our world. To depths untold you are hurled "
In completion of the Stygian curse and sacrificial rite, the blessing of the old gods demolishes the sanctimonious ground of all religion, and is demonstrated in the death laden soundscape of Fury's Manifesto where exalted leads are followed by chains of fiery grooves and smoky bursts on the drums. The crumbling floor is felt in the increasingly explosive beat and undercurrent in the song's progression. Light bathes the earthshattered architecture as humanities ultimate demise is promised.
Seige Hive is that very promised demise, the crawling feeling pushed by the ever looming terror of the lead guitar while the rhythm strangles and shakes you face to face with an onslaught of the chaos of humanities rampant and godless destruction. The cinders of blackening riff and wailing and begging leads punctuates Sect of Vile Divinities with an inescableand destructive loop through every horror witnessed along the ways. A swirling of demonic gasps and screams reveals an expansive and doomed eternity in hellbathed repetition in the final cadence of Incantation's Sect of Vile Divinities.
In summary, Sect of Vile Divinities definitely takes you there. The lyric content and the overall storyline to the album was subversive and fascinating. Exploring religious loyalty and corrupt leadership paints an unfortunate portrait of what primordial deities are actively being disturbed to this very day. Incantation took a very clever and well informed approach to deliver the deadliest and most miserable soundtrack to your probably miserable year. Grab your copy of Sect of Vile Divinities and listen for yourself! Find more of their work, merchandise and more by following them on facebook, twitter and instagram at the links below. And be sure to follow Relapse Records for more music releases!