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Onward to Golgotha

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(5 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Though they’ve long since taken a back seat to their more innovative contemporaries, New Jersey’s Incantation was once perhaps the most ferocious and impressive American DM band outside of Florida. While Immolation and Suffocation took time to fully develop their sounds, Incantation’s raw doom/death assault was intact with their debut “Onward to Golgotha.” Many classic DM era recordings emanating from Sunlight Studios and Morrisound now have a somewhat forced, artificial feel, but “Onward to Golgotha” maintains a sheer force of sound unmatched in the era. This is pure, untamed doom/death that oozes from the speakers in a nearly undifferentiated mass of thudding bass drums and infectious tremolo riffs all topped by Pillard’s rarely matched growl. Though Incantation lack the adventurousness of some of the best DM bands, they display a sort of specialization that separates them from the generic masses. While Obituary is most commonly lauded for effectively introducing slower tempos into straight death metal, “Onward to Golgotha” utilizes doomy passages more prominently and more effectively than in any other true DM release I’ve heard. (Also, while purportedly slow DM is often actually quite groovy and midpaced, Incantation really take things down to the sludgy depths.) Equally significant, Pillard’s unearthly roar is easily the most effective ultra deep growl I’ve heard, and is beautifully suited for muddy excesses of the instrumental accompaniment. Simply put, this is some of the darkest, most malevolent sounding DM ever recorded.

    On the downside, while most first-rate death metal transcends pure sound and contains memorable, distinctive songs, the same cannot be said for “Onward to Golgotha.” Not a lot in specific stands out, apart from the general progression of sounds, as album opens emphasizing typical DM blasting and trem-riffing before moving to the more doomy and varied middle section and finally returning to a more speed-oriented approach for the closing tracks. That said, though I’d have a hell of a time picking any standout tracks, or, more precisely, explaining why such tracks are superior to the rest of the album, the uniformity of “Onward to Golgotha” does little to dampen my enthusiasm for it. While the individual tracks may not standout, the album does as a whole does, and stands as one of the most striking and immediately distinct releases of death metal’s golden age. Check it out.

    Posted on November 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is a death metal classic. If you are a fan of this genre then you must own this cd. Incantation is a band that started out brutal and have not changed their evil ways. This album is part of what I consider one of the core Relapse Records from the 90’s. Raise the horns and prepare for aural annihilation.

    Posted on November 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Incantation’s “Onward To Golgotha” is a death metal gem in in my top 5 list of best death metal albums of all time. It’s lo-fi, heavy as hell and full to the brim of midpaced deep and thrashy riffs that create a whirlwind wall of evil sound. It’s amazing that these guys don’t get more credit for just how awesome they are. If I met someone new to death metal I’d give them a copy of this album and tell them that if they can’t get into this and feel it’s evil power then they have no taste in metal. Of course, I’m only joking there but in all seriousness this album rocks and is punishing and full of atmospheric evil from start to finish.

    Posted on November 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The debut of Incantation is undeniably their strongest effort, despite how consistent they are throughout the rest of their career. Everything on this album is top-notch and lays waste to all in its path.

    The production is perfect for this musical style. It gives every instrument the sinister edge yet retains rough and dirty. The riffs are extraordinary, ranging from crushing doom style to dissonant and twisted. Craig Pillard’s vocals are low and give the sound of a creature that dwells in the deepest abyss. When it comes to how this is all put together, it flows fluently with the tempo transitions, building up and never losing its steam. The overall wall of sound crafted by “Onward to Golgotha” is a wicked, apocalyptic atmosphere of riffs, and it’s sure to benefit those that are into early 90’s death metal.

    The re-issue of this disc comes with a bonus DVD that has the lineup for this album playing three shows. This album is a classic in the death metal genre and should not be missed out if you like it slow and crushing.

    Posted on November 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is an early, and rough-sounding look at the INCANTATION SOUND. A very evil, kind of detuned black and intensely Evil sound… like a death metal Slayer, that went to Doom school, and with a ability to touch upon catchy evil melodies like the best black metal riffs. All that ecompassed in some of the deepest and growliest Death Metal to ever make it out into the world. This disc should come with an awesoem DVD of some early live performances. Very cool to see as I was about 13 when this came out… Must have for the true fans and new fans. This is an important band for death metal–that set a benchmark, and one of the earliest group of deviants on the Relapse records roster.

    Posted on November 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now