Incantation - Decimate Christendom
Listenable Records
Death Metal
12 songs (48:53)
Release year: 2004
Incantation, Listenable Records
Reviewed by Crims

Incantation have been releasing Death Metal since 1990 and have been continuously releasing Death Metal on a regular basis ever since. Some of their earlier releases are considered unheralded classics in the Death Metal genre; however, Decimate Christendom is a fun while it’s on, forgettable when it’s not type of release.

Incantation have not evolved at all since Onward To Golgotha, and what was perhaps ground breaking in 1992 has since been surpassed and improved upon in 2004. The type of Death Metal found on this release is mostly in the Immolation Death Metal camp with touches of Doom Metal thrown throughout almost every song. To the listener this means a couple of things. The riffs are mostly devoid of any chugging as found in most Floridian DM bands, instead, the guitars are more doom based. Of course, when you speed the tempo up, and add in large amounts of double bass, blast beats, and wildly chaotic fast drum patterns the style and effect completely changes. We’ve heard it before from Immolation, primarily, and Incantation does a decent job of creating some evil and bizarre atmospheres in their music. However, where as Immolation is creating sick and twisted atmospheres with pretty much every second of music on their releases, Incantation are only doing this successfully on one or two riffs every other song. I’m not saying this is a worthless release because there are some cool things going on, but when it comes down to it songs start to blend together and forgettable passages and riffs run rampant. You think to yourself, “this is kind of cool” when it’s playing, but afterwards there are few totally kick ass moments, and equally few moments of utter rubbish to remember.

Looking past that though the vocals are typical of the genre, meaning they are quite deep with no variation in the tone or delivery. It works for the style but they’re just kind of there without adding anything to the music. The whole band is very skilled as all but the slowest moments in the Incantation's songs are quite technical and they are to be commended for sounding so tight and precise, especially from a rhythm stand point. The production is very dry sounding and doesn’t come across as being overly heavy or in your face. It’s perfect for this style of Death Metal as it goes along way to achieving the bands desired atmosphere and mood. Where this CD does exceed is with the variation. Though there certainly are a lot of blasts and double bass sections, as mentioned, there is usually at least one Doom Metal moment in each track. The tempo slows down to a crawl and the same riffing technique and style is employed though slowed down to the proper Doom pace. While these sections aren’t exactly as interesting as the more brutal moments of the bands music, they prevent the band from falling into blast monotony. The problem is that not only do the brutal sections blend together at times, so do the Doom sections. I guess this is what happens when you’ve released 7 full-lengths and don’t change your sound or evolve. It happens in Power Metal a lot, but those bands can be saved by having memorable choruses, melodies or vocal performances, unfortunately this style of Metal is only memorable from an entire song or occasional individual riff. Those songs and riffs are few and far between, partly because bands in this genre have raised the bar very high and partly because despite the technical aspects the band repeats themselves a little too often. What worked in a couple of songs starts to get repetitive after the fifth.

I still recommend this release to fans of the band, as they won’t be disappointed, rather they’ll likely love it. Death Metal fans unfamiliar with Incantation who enjoy Immolation, I recommend this CD to for the technical musicianship, good but short of outstanding atmosphere and riffs, and some awesome, but too few leads. You likely enjoy this CD, but don’t expect to come back to it often or have any riffs pounding in your head long after the CD stops to spin.

Killing Songs :
Decimate Christendom, Dying Divinity, Blaspheme the Sacraments, No Paradise Awaits
Crims quoted 73 / 100
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