Incantation
Dirges of Elysium


3.5
great

Review

by Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (75 Reviews)
June 13th, 2014 | 160 replies


Release Date: 06/10/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although they didn't reinvent the wheel, Dirges of Elysium is a breath of fresh air for Incantation, and another fine addition to their discography

It says a lot about a band that, over twenty years since their inception, can still distinguish themselves in a scene littered with imitators. Incantation have never been a band to radically swing from a winning formula, so the legions of copycats have been left ample time and equally plentiful material to reverse engineer and create sonic forgeries of their own. While a band may look like Incantation, play like Incantation and blaspheme like Incantation, they will never be Incantation. The New Yorker collection’s idiosyncrasy has always been something intangible, beyond description but wholly apparent upon listening. One can dissect and recreate their doomy compositions or McEntee’s dissonant pinch harmonics, but will ultimately fail at emulating the aural miasma that will forever belong to Incantation and Incantation only.

Their once dynamic and reverberant sound may have dried up with the advent of modern recording and production techniques, but Dirges of Elysium still possesses the same extra-dimensional atmosphere that always made these guys so peerless, albeit filtered through a 21st century lens. The guitars sound crisp and filled out but also organic, particularly on higher registers, accentuating the abundance of sinister melodies and harmonies. Instrumentally, the band don’t venture too far from their original output, but nevertheless still manage to trickle in enough inventiveness to avoid stagnation. The marching grooves come across as skewed but also infectious, continuously building upon themselves before the songs either erupt into cacophonous mayhem or collapse upon themselves into immersive doom. The riff patterns and chord changes are ominous and depressive, slowly eroding your sanity away as one gloomy number succeeds the last.

The strongest moments on the album are routinely found in the cascading doom sections, which are more prevalent and fleshed out than in some of Incantation’s more recent efforts. The more balanced use of slower sections in conjunction with the rapid-fire riffs means Dirges of Elysium not only hits harder than its predecessor but is also more immediate and accessible. Tracks like “Carrion Prophesy” and “From a Glaciate Womb” violently alternate between the two extremes, but it’s the eponymous closer that best exemplifies the band’s knack for the doom. The song steadily shifts back and forth, incrementally presenting ideas one at a time and teasing the listener for a climactic finish that never actually arrives. The song is more of an exercise in suspense than shock value, an expert demonstration on developing a harrowing, claustrophobic atmosphere in a manner that only Incantation could authentically pull off.

Dirges of Elysium is neither a stylistic departure for Incantation, nor it is a complete rehash of the past. Suitably hallmarked to belong in such a discography while retaining a sense of identity, the album strikes a middle ground between tradition and subtle novelty. While many still hearken for the resonant sound of their first trio of albums, it isn’t in the best interest of the band to continue to rip themselves off. Incantation needed to find an identity of their own in the 2010s, and with Dirges of Elysium they’ve done just that.



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user ratings (60)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2014


16040 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Short review for an album there isn't too much to say about

Digging: Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Relinquished
June 13th 2014


27982 Comments


yea so short nice soundoff

tommygun
June 13th 2014


25627 Comments


nice review pal i read this one cover to cover

had to look up 'miasma'

good shit

Digging: Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2014


16040 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

cheers guys



relinquished u dang smart ass

DikkoZinner
June 13th 2014


3794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

AOTY?

emester
June 13th 2014


5191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review.



enjoyed this a fair amount. nothing groundbreaking but still great nevertheless

Digging: Sweet Cobra - Praise

Gwyn.
June 13th 2014


15554 Comments


The New Yorker collection’s idiosyncrasy has always been something intangible, beyond description but wholly apparent upon listening.


Incantation are from Pennsylvania, i know cuz i made the same mistake a while ago ;_;

good review

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2014


16040 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

They're currently located in Pennsylvania, but they were formed in New York. Either way it doesn't really matter, thanks :D

Ryus
June 13th 2014


7648 Comments


agreed with pretty much everything, good album

Digging: Joe Henderson - Inner Urge

Keyblade
June 13th 2014


15961 Comments


Didn't know this was out, sweet.

Confucius
June 13th 2014


305 Comments


Rules

oltnabrick
June 13th 2014


32636 Comments


This was kind of boring :/

cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2014


2304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review, Jac. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of it as well. I've been having a hard time writing my review for this one even though I've had a promo copy for about a month now.

Digging: Blood Gemini - Snow Season

evilford
June 13th 2014


23803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review dude, first paragraph is pure gold. sums up the band better than anything I've ever read.

Digging: Global Chernobyl - Endtime

facupm
June 13th 2014


9365 Comments


sweet

ShadowRemains
June 13th 2014


22094 Comments


mcentee's vocals aren't bad

but really nothing compares to pillard's, they fit incantation's sound perfectly

Eunuch
June 13th 2014


1582 Comments


Jac "3.5 it" Quibim

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2014


4172 Comments


Never gave much of a care for this band, and I don't think this album will change that for me. Still, great review, Jac. Mindpos.

Digging: Death Grips - The Powers That B - Part II: Jenny Death

Wizard
June 13th 2014


19807 Comments


While a band may look like Incantation, play like Incantation and blaspheme like Incantation, they will never be Incantation.

Well said! There should be a sub-genre of dm called Incantadeath metal or something like that. So many bands hump the shit out of them but I'm so in love with their back catalogue that I just don't care. I can never get enough of these guys and their imitators.

One of your best reviews dude. Seriously, staff it up!


Ovrot
June 13th 2014


10610 Comments


i love the word dirge




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