Incantation - _The Forsaken Mourning of Angelic Anguish_
(Repulse Records, 1997)
by: Henry Akeley (9 out of 10)
Another great release from this great band. While still as crushing as ever, the vibe is a bit quicker and more biting this time, thanks to songs which focus on unkind grind and mid-paced malevolence, without any really slow segments. The production is the clearest the band has ever had, which really sharpens the music's edge, especially by giving Kyle's excellent drumming a distinct place in the mix. Craig's vocals sound great, as always, and the guitar sound is punchy and thick. So the overall sound is a bit cleaner, less miasmic, and less doomy than on their previous stuff - but it's still way heavy thanks to the band's monster compositions; plus, the clarity of the mix makes the grinding parts hit harder than before. This is an MCD with 22 minutes of material; there are seven tracks, five of which are proper songs, if you count the 51-second "Twisted Sacrilegious Journey Into Our Darkest Neurotic Delirium". (The two non-songs are a brief, warped interlude, and a well done five-minute outro that's creepy enough to stay interesting all the way through.) I'd rank opener "Shadows from the Ancient Empire" as one of the band's most effective songs ever - right up there with the almighty "Christening the Afterbirth" from their first CD. The title track definitely goes on that list, too. There's also a cover of the old Schuldiner chestnut "Scream Bloody Gore"... pretty cool, but not as good as Incantation's stuff, which once again sounds killer.

(article published 14/7/1997)

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