Saturday, April 19, 2014

Incantation - Entrantment of Evil (1990)

Incantation has long been one of the most solid and consistent bands with all of Death Metal, and their proper beginnings go back to their 1990 E.P. Entrantment of Evil. While being on the second-tier, below the early releases of Death, Autopsy, Morbid Angel, Pestilence, Obituary and so on, John McEntee and his revolving door or band mates remained near the top and ended up succeeding the aforementioned acts and resting upon the dark throne of truly evil Death Metal as most turned to nonsensical wankery.

Most of these songs can be heard on the band's debut full-length, Onward to Golgotha; however, this somewhat more raw approach is certain worth listening to. The songwriting should not come as a surprise to anyone that has been familiar with Incantation. It consists of a good amount of evil tremolo riffs and blasting drums, with doom-ridden passages thrown in for good measure. This is rather primitive and stripped-down, just as good Death Metal should be. The riffs are ugly and possess a dark feeling, and the vocals (while often a bit deeper than I prefer) still add to the hateful atmosphere. Even at this point, there is a healthy variation in the compositions that make them somewhat memorable and easily distinguishable from one another.

The production is fairly decent, though still would be considered more demo-quality than that of a proper recording. Regardless, the raw and dirty sound adds to the overall effect. One of the worst things that ever happened to Death Metal was the over-sterilized production that became the norm a few years after this (as well as pointless songwriting). Here, the shabby sound benefits the compositions, though still being good enough for one to follow the riffs. Everything is mixed pretty well, with the guitars having a rough edge to them while still being heavy and thick. The bass has an ominous tone to it, as well.

If you are seeking solid, old-school Death Metal, Incantation is a very reliable band and Entrantment of Evil is well worth the time to track down. This is dark and doomy Death Metal with a strong anti-Christian feeling. Unlike the hordes of bands that came along later and showed absolutely no understanding of what this music was supposed to be about, Incantation is a band that has alwways had a firm grasp on what they were doing, and did it quite well.