Incantation The Infernal Storm

With a moniker meaning "magic spell," there's been surprisingly little sorcery involved in maintaining the rank of Ohio's Incantation among the royalty of underground death for the past decade. Solid and uncompromising New York-styled growl metal is their game, though this record leans away from their Immolation/Mortician density of yore. The Infernal Storm still lays on the extra thick riffs like wet, poisonous cement, but slows down the pace a few notches to Obituary speed on some tracks. "Sempiternal Pandemonium" grinds away with smouldering riffage and half-speed kick drums of session skinsman Dave Culross (Malevolent Creation, Suffocation). New throat Mike Saez (ex-Deathrune) is very consistent in his tonal quality, as founding guitarist John McEntee shreds his frets with essence ablaze. "Heaven Departed" resembles Tomb Of The Mutilated-era Cannibal Corpse, with its slick change-ups and throb variety, while "Apocalyptic Destroyer Of Angels" does just that at a neck-snapping velocity. "Nocturnal Kingdom Of Demonic Enlightenment" could hold its own with an old-school Winter crowd before the blinding maelstrom of McEntee's chromatics cranks up to polish off the record. The dark storm is rising and the forecast calls for extreme pain. (Relapse)