“Profane Nexus”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Things have come full circle for Incantation. After 20 years of wandering in the wilderness, they are back where it all began, Relapse Records. And it fits, it really does! This is classic Incantation that touches on all their strengths and shows some variety, to boot. “Profane Nexus” is pure death/doom of the type the band pioneered in the early 90’s and which so many bands have tried to imitate in recent years.

Sometimes you stick an album in and everything clicks. “Muse” shows that all is right in the depraved world of Incantation. Thick,suffocating guitar riffs, disgusting vocal growls, a feeling of inescapable doom…they’re all here. John McEntree, always the general of the Incantation army, has finally and truly settled into his vocal role. He sounds pure and natural throughout “Profane Nexus”, grumbling and vomiting through cuts such as “Visceral Hexahedron”, “Messiah Nostrum” and “Omens to the Altars of Onyx”. Most of these have that doom-soaked rumble to them even in faster moments, but Incantation can also strike with fast, chaotic rippers like “Rites of the Locust” and the barely minute long “Xipe Totec”. 

This one has a little of everything Incantation has done over the centuries…er, years. “Incorporal  Despair” is the kind of odd, bass-driven, down-tempo lament that they’ve heaved up now and then. There’s some sly humor when the short, effects-laden instrumental has the longest song title…”Stormgate Convulsions From the Thunderous Shores of Infernal Realms Beyond the Grace of God”.  I’d love to hear a Grammy announcer try that one on for size. Things wind up with the epic “Ancients Arise” and you realize you’ve heard pretty much the perfect Incantation album. This has got to be in their top three for sure and now with Relapse’s publicity machine behind it, it will have the visibility these guys have always deserved. A warm, fuzzy shroud of an LP!