Incantation - Sect Of Vile Divinities review




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Reviewer:
6.7

73 users:
7.67
Band: Incantation
Album: Sect Of Vile Divinities
Release date: August 2020


01. Ritual Impurity (Seven Of The Sky Is One)
02. Propitiation
03. Entrails Of The Hag Queen
04. Guardians From The Primeval
05. Black Fathom's Fire
06. Ignis Fatuus
07. Chant Of Formless Dread
08. Shadow-Blade Masters Of Tempest And Maelstrom
09. Scribes Of The Stygian
10. Unborn Ambrosia
11. Fury's Manifesto
12. Siege Hive


After 30 years of existence, John McEntee refuses to let Incantation go quietly into that good night.

Surpassing the double-digit LP mark over such a hefty tenure has certain connotations attached to it -- not all of which are positive. Sure, it signifies longevity, consumer demand, and expertise, but it also incites questions regarding purpose and necessity. Why are they still writing new material? Does the world really need another Incantation release? The dirty dozen plateau doesn't inherently provide answers to those questions, but there's definitely an undertone of rhetoric to them.

Sect of Vile Divinities doesn't hold up to the same standards as the band's back catalog (that much is obvious), but there are particular flaws that extend beyond derivation. For instance, the mixing is completely unsuitable for the drawn out doom passages -- a stylistic Incantation trademark since their inception. There's a mild sheen to the production that combats the tonal atmosphere they were obviously going for, as it's what they're always going for, but it shifts the delivery of the sustained riffs entirely. Rather than establishing an occult, evil, sinister vibe, it comes across instead as awkwardly thin and creates an alteration in perspective towards one of warmth: generating elongated feedback segments that blanket the listener in a soothing embrace -- an unintentional result, presumably. At least Kyle Severn's hypnotic fills help to counteract the lightweight feel of the music, but still not enough to fully immerse the listener in what should have been crashing waves of ominous distortion.

Another notable flaw is the lack of dynamic songwriting. The funereal pacing dominates the flow of the album, which in itself clearly hasn't been the problem up until now, and there are some intricate melodies tacked on in various places and guitar squeals scattered throughout to help break up the mid-tempo monotony, but there needs to be a refined focus placed on meaningful riffs and engaging vibe in order to distract from a listless by-the-numbers album such as this. Interspersed energetic tracks like "Chant of Formless Dread" and "Fury's Manifesto" serve as worthwhile up numbers that showcase the band's penchant for writing killer live songs when they want to, but, again, not enough to be immersive, as this unfortunately doesn't carry with it the same atmosphere of a live setting.

Sect of Vile Divinities is undoubtedly Incantation at its core, but suffers as a consequence of its stripped down simplicity, odd production, and lethargic rehashing of old ideas once executed in far more interesting and engaging fashion. The musicians are more than familiar with their instruments and even play off of each other, hinting at moments of ingenuity, but those twinkling ideas are lost in the blink of an eye in favor of generic chugging and noodling around for the better part of the album's approximate 45 minutes. Perhaps a swan song is in order as it appears McEntee's creative well has run dry.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 4
Production: 5


 



Written on 30.09.2020 by I'm total pro; that's what I'm here for.


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 67 users
30.09.2020 - 08:03
Coconut Racecar
This is one of those bands like Aborted that should appeal to me because they have everything I like, but I just can't get in to them. I gave this album a few spins and it was no different. I always love to hear what artists come out with even if I previously didn't like them much, but I was let down with this hoping it might make a fan out of me. I'd say you covered all the bases in your review because it was about how I felt as well.
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01.10.2020 - 01:39
Batlord666
I don't like the idea that bands should just stop. If they're having fun writing new material, recording it, etc., then they should keep going. It's our place to judge for ourselves if we like the music, but not our place to say "call it quits".
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01.10.2020 - 01:57
nikarg
Mod
The truth is that the last Incantation album worth listening to came out 22 years ago.
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01.10.2020 - 03:26
Maco
Classless
The demos were better.
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Never trust a junkie.
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01.10.2020 - 04:49
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Coconut Racecar on 30.09.2020 at 08:03

This is one of those bands like Aborted that should appeal to me because they have everything I like, but I just can't get in to them. I gave this album a few spins and it was no different. I always love to hear what artists come out with even if I previously didn't like them much, but I was let down with this hoping it might make a fan out of me. I'd say you covered all the bases in your review because it was about how I felt as well.

I'll take modern Aborted over this any day. Their latest EP is some quality melodic death metal. This exists for the sake of it.
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I have no memory of this place.
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01.10.2020 - 04:51
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Batlord666 on 01.10.2020 at 01:39

I don't like the idea that bands should just stop. If they're having fun writing new material, recording it, etc., then they should keep going. It's our place to judge for ourselves if we like the music, but not our place to say "call it quits".

I don't mean to imply I have any authority when it comes to saying who should or shouldn't quit as a band. That's Bad English's job. But I do think it's a fair criticism to ponder what it is a band brings to the table and if there even exists an audience for their music anymore.

But if they're enjoying themselves and doing what they want, more power to them.
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I have no memory of this place.
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01.10.2020 - 04:54
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by nikarg on 01.10.2020 at 01:57

The truth is that the last Incantation album worth listening to came out 22 years ago.

I haven't listened to anything from that era of theirs in so long I can't even be sure my opinion of their early years is still accurate, but I do remember really enjoying their early years. When time permits I'll take another gander at the pre-2000s and see what I think.
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I have no memory of this place.
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01.10.2020 - 04:55
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Maco on 01.10.2020 at 03:26

The demos were better.

The demos are always better
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I have no memory of this place.
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01.10.2020 - 08:21
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Written by nikarg on 01.10.2020 at 01:57

The truth is that the last Incantation album worth listening to came out 22 years ago.

Hey now, Vanquish In Vengeance was actually pretty good.
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get that bag
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02.10.2020 - 00:56
Batlord666
Written by Troy Killjoy on 01.10.2020 at 04:51

Written by Batlord666 on 01.10.2020 at 01:39

I don't like the idea that bands should just stop. If they're having fun writing new material, recording it, etc., then they should keep going. It's our place to judge for ourselves if we like the music, but not our place to say "call it quits".

I don't mean to imply I have any authority when it comes to saying who should or shouldn't quit as a band. That's Bad English's job. But I do think it's a fair criticism to ponder what it is a band brings to the table and if there even exists an audience for their music anymore.

But if they're enjoying themselves and doing what they want, more power to them.

Oh I didn't mean to "accuse" you or anything! I just think of examples like Darkthrone - they keep making music because they feel like it. Some of it isn't special, but it's always interesting to hear what they come up with when they're just messing around. Or Napalm Death, who keep throwing out curveballs with weird experimentation.
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