Incantation, for those who listen to metal, shouldn’t need any introduction, since they’ve been torturing our ears with an uncompromising death for a quarter of a century now, but probably also for this reason, their name has remained slightly under the radar compared to other more famous bands, although not necessarily of higher caliber. Dirges Of Elysium is the tenth full length of a discography with a very high average quality level and that, paradoxically for a band with such a long and important history, proves to be constantly growing in recent years; all this happens without resorting to winks melodic groove or daring stylistic swerves, but giving to its consolidated death by morbid traits, which often trespasses in doom sounds, an intensity far superior to that, however appreciable, shown by the nouvelle vague of the genre. In short, even if many of the historical names seem to mark the step or perhaps, no longer have the conviction or strength to pursue these sounds stubbornly saturated with dark vehemence, Incantation give, to those who have ears to hear, fifty minutes of death that does not need any other adjective to be described: this is the essence of the genre, the evocation of death, of decay, the merciless chronicle of the fall into chasms where every semblance of life has been swallowed up by a blasphemous and shapeless putrescent matter. The doom component doesn’t show any melancholic semblance or self-consoling characteristics as it often happens in the genre in question; the slowdowns, rather, appear functional to the representation of an imaginary even darker and full of evil darkness. If Carrion Prophecy is a song that, by Incantation‘s standards, could even be defined as “catchy” if we didn’t risk falling into the grotesque, tracks like Debauchery or From A Glaciate Womb literally bring to school dozens of more recent bands that, I’m sorry to say, still have a long way to go before reaching the levels of intensity and involvement reached by the Pennsylvania deathsters. Even with a track that lasts more than sixteen minutes like the final Elysium, John McEntee and his associates don’t lose an ounce of their conviction, closing in an excellent way the best death album listened by the undersigned since a long time, with good peace to those who don’t consider worthy of attention those who “just” perpetrate at the highest levels the tradition of a genre with which everyone, like it or not, will have to deal with for a long time to come.

2014 – Listenable Records