Tragedy struck the band in early 2012 with the death of former bassist Joe Lombard, but, through it all, McIntee’s professionalism and strong desire to strive for excellence continues to herald a release from the band as a major event.
Incantation are well known for their crushingly heavy, devastatingly evil sound, a sound perfected by a strong lineup around McIntee for Vanquish In Vengeance. Joining McIntee and long time drummer Kyle Severn are second guitarist Alex Bouks and bassist Chuck Sherwood, mainstays of Incantation’s live performances since 2007 or so.
As Vanquish In Vengeance begins, there are seemingly no surprises as songs combine a fast pace with crushing moments of slow, heavy riffs. McIntee’s deeply guttural vocals anchor the sound, and a few moments of eerie guitar solos make appearances in tracks such as “Ascend Into The Eternal,” a trick that Incantation have been known for throughout their long discography.
But, strange moments appear late in the album, as Incantation slow things down considerably and pile on the doom and death in songs such as “Profound Loathing,” with a melancholic tone influenced by latter day Celtic Frost and Triptykon. The album’s closer and magnum opus “Legion Of Dis” takes Incantation deep into funeral doom territory with a glacial pace, tortured growls from McIntee, and slow, twisting riffs that overlay a whispered conclusion after nearly twelve minutes.
The second half of Vanquish In Vengeance is definitely a departure from what we’ve heard from Incantation in the past, as McIntee shows no apprehension about expanding the band’s sound while remaining firmly rooted in death metal.
Vanquish In Vengeance is a varied album of crushing death metal that is a solid addition to Incantation’s discography.
(released November 27, 2012 on Listenable Records)