"Dirges of Elysium"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I've been an Incantation fan since their debut release "Onward To Golgotha", which came out more than 20 years ago. That was a huge, genre-changing album. They have yet to equal it and "Dirges of Elysium" won't get the job done. To be brutally honest, I'm disappointed in this album.

It really sounds more like a band that's INFLUENCED by Incantation instead of Incantation itself. Riffs and song structures seem to rehashing the sizable back catalogue of the band. Sure, you know what to expect when picking up a record by these guys and you don't want wild experimentation from them, but at a certain point, things begin to get tired. They just don't sound on top of their game here. When they added a second guitarist back to the lineup after the disastrous "Primordial Domination", they came up with a very solid release, "Vanquish In Vengeance". I was hoping for more of the same here, but this is just flat sounding in comparison to the best Incantation.

The record is not badly produced or played. Songs like "Bastion of A Plagued Soul" and "Portal Consecration" have the requisite death metal savagery while "From A Glaciate Womb" has the sick doomy feel Incantation is known for. But it's a knockoff of past glories. The deathblow is the 16 minute agonized epic "Elysium (Eternitty Is Nigh)"...we've heard these guys do this before, but better. Frankly, I was bored.

It pains me to deliver a mediocre review but this is Incantation going through the motions and putting out a record because it's expected, not because they're inspired. I hope they can bounce back.