Incantation Primordial Domination

One of the first death metal bands that Relapse Records extolled, Pennsylvania’s Incantation are still ranked among the elite of underground metal. Their seventh full-length, Primordial Domination is released on founding guitarist John McEntee’s own Ibex Moon Records (the label name is taken from a song title on 1994’s Mortal Throne of Nazarene), furthering the band’s formula of vicious riffs, acid-gargling vocals and infernal blasphemies. From the opening title track, it’s immediately evident that they’ve varied their tempos, including more slow parts than on previous albums. "The Fallen Priest” has equal fast/slow parts, starting at Morbid Angel speed then decelerating to a doomier, Obituary pace. Long-time drummer Kyle Severn displays his skills on "Lead to Desolation,” double-timing it several times during the cut. "The Stench of Crucifixion” is a standout track, as is the Cannibal Corpse-ish "Dissolute Rule/Begin Apocalypse” with its defining guitar leads. Highlight "Hailed Babylon” sounds like old My Dying Bride, which is complemented by the excellent death/doom of album closer "Conquered God,” resembling Forest of Equilibrium-era Cathedral. However static death metal is, Incantation continue to uphold the genre’s tenets admirably, as Primordial Domination will share top-tier success with Vore, Deicide and Unleashed. (Ibex Moon Records)