Review: Incantation Prove Their Legacy on Unholy Deification


Unholy Deification, the latest record from Incantation, is out today and true to all the hype, it’s not only a solid album from one of death metal’s greats, but it’s also a crowning achievement for the band. And that’s saying a lot, considering how late in their career it comes.

While some bands from the 80s have gotten more introspective or softer as the years go on, Incantation only keep getting darker and heavier. While there are some decidedly melodic elements on Unholy Deification, they are tempered by moments that feel influenced by the more technical side of things. There’s also an element of weirdness on the record, no doubt harnessing the psychedelic resurgence death metal is currently experiencing through bands like Blood Incantation and Teeth.

One of the strongest songs on the record is “Concordat (The Pact) I.” Its slow and building nature gives fans of melodic death metal a growing sense of drama, while also giving them the ridiculously brutal blasting parts you’d come to expect from the band as well. “Exile (Defy the False) II” is also one of the heaviest songs on the album, showing that the band are still able to compete with the new generation, even after 34 years in the game.

As for some other tracks worth mentioning that stand out, “Convulse (Words of Power) III” is a delightfully doom-inspired and memorable piece, while “Chalice (Vessel Consanguineous) VIII” is probably my favorite offering for its straight-ahead, pummeling quality.

While all of these songs offer something unique and would stand up on their own, like most great albums of the genre, there’s something to be said about listening to the entire album front to back to get the full effect. As the names imply, each song feels like a different yet important part of a whole, cohesive piece.

Twelve albums in, Incantation continue to lay the groundwork upon which the death metal genre as a whole can build upon. And despite their already stellar reputation, the relevance of this album and this band in 2023 is pretty damn impressive.

Incantation’s Unholy Deification is out now via Relapse Records. You can get your copy wherever you get your music.

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