Incantation – XXV: Quarter Century of Blasphemy (2016)

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IncantationXXV: Quarter Century of Blasphemy (self-released, 2016)

 

Way back in 1989 — about twenty-seven years ago — death metal was just beginning to grow out of its infancy. The genre had recently splintered off from thrash, with bands falling over each other trying to sound heavier, faster, more sinister, and more extreme than anything that had come before. But by this time, the “death metal” sound was already starting to expand; similar to the way thrash had been evolving and further distancing itself further from its hardcore punk roots, newer death metal bands were starting to add a greater technicality or progressiveness to the music, a wider range of tempos and dynamics, as well as beginning to incorporate various other influences. One of the newer bands to emerge around that time was Incantation, who employed the typical death metal aesthetic, while often sticking with more of a mid-to-lower tempo — allowing the intricate guitar solos and riffs to shine through more clearly than in those bands who chose to join the neverending maximum speed arms race.

Living in Johnstown, Pennsylvania — a place I myself have visited before; pretty much its only claim to fame is the fact that they had a big flood once, as evidenced by the fact that one of the few things to do there is to tour the Johnstown Flood Museum — naturally the band would spend a lot of their time traveling and touring. While undergoing numerous different line-up changes and using countless live musicians throughout the past couple of decades, Incantation has been all over the world multiple times. But early in their career they became aligned most closely with pioneering New York death metal bands like Suffocation, and especially Mortician (with whom they’ve actually shared or swapped members during a time or two in their joint histories).

From their debut album on Relapse Records, Onward to Golgotha, through later releases on Candlelight and their own label Ibex Moon, and finally through albums this decade on Listenable Records, including their latest, 2014’s Dirges of Elysium, the band has continued to push the envelope creatively, while garnering critical praise as well as a rabid international following. And now, after a quarter century of material, Incantation have put together a retrospective package that includes highlights from all over that lengthy career. This vinyl-only release (which is only available directly from the band) includes all new, never-before-released recordings: one completely new song and a few re-recorded gems from their earlier days, plus a number of live versions that are exclusive to this package. The new compilation, titled XXV is now being offered for sale to fans, including a few package deals with merch you also won’t find anywhere else …

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Two Reviews: Hivelords and Sadgiqacea (2013)

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HivelordsCavern Apothecary (Anthropic Records, 02 July 2013)

 

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SadgiqaceaFalse Prism (CD – Candlelight Records / Vinyl – Anthropic Records, 07 May 2013)

 

Hey folks, Happy Monday to you all. Remember about a week and a half ago when I shared the details about a joint tour between Philadelphia’s Hivelords and Sadgiqacea? Well, that tour’s still trucking along — there’s another whole month left — and tonight is when they are playing in Pittsburgh. They’ll be at a cool little BYOB ex-warehouse/garage-looking spot called The Shop, along with locals Slaves BC and Night Vapor; plus the last minute of Pinprick Punishment who, I’ve been informed, are a hardcore band from Japan. It’ll be an early (all-ages) show — the music will be starting at precisely 7:30 — so even those of us who live an hour away should be safely home in bed by about midnight. If you’re in the area and you’d like to drop by, you can find more details here. I’m pretty excited about this show — as I said in that earlier post, these Philly bands are both pretty incredible to watch. If they’re coming to a town near you I’d unreservedly say you should totally go see them. If they aren’t, I’m sorry. But at least they both have albums out that you can check out!

Both bands had released a full-length in 2013, and I bought a copy of each when I saw them last summer; they’re both excellent and I’ve listened to each of them a whole bunch of times since then. But through an unfortunate oversight — Hivelords‘ was just coming out the same week these two bands came to Pittsburgh, and I remember seeing a press release about it from Catharsis PR, while Sadgiqacea‘s had been out for several months at that point and I don’t think I ever knew the actual release date — when I was compiling my list of 2013’s best releases, I only included Cavern Apothecary. (Instead of whining about it, I think I’ll just go and edit my list to sneak False Prism in there. Because once again, it’s MY list, damnit!)

 

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Tours Galore: Hivelords and Sadgiqacea Together Again

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Hivelords and Sadgiqacea Are Embarking on a Joint Summer Tour

 

Hey folks, if you live in the eastern half of the U.S. (that is, anywhere between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River, plus just a little further west in the case of Kansas City, Columbia, and Des Moines), you’re in for a real treat sometime in the next six weeks. Two Philadelphia-based bands who each play a uniquely interesting variant of black metal — Hivelords and Sadgiqacea — are heading out on the road, starting tomorrow night in New Jersey, and spiralling their way through the northeast, midwest, and southeast, before finally finishing up back in Philly at the end of July.

I saw these bands last July when they both played a show in Pittsburgh, and it made for a pretty amazing experience. I’d highly recommend it if you are able. I’ve got a video from each of their performances at that show, below, and then I’ll share the full list of dates for their current summer tour.

 

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Coming Soon: New Daylight Dies Album – Details Revealed

 
Ladies and gentlemen, here’s another bit of news I am very pleased to pass along to you. This was actually announced a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t really get a chance to write about it until now.

Daylight Dies is an excellent, excellent melodic-death/doom band, which I was first introduced to with their appearance on a couple Relapse Records samplers (Contaminated 5.0 and VI included the songs “I Wait” and “The Line that Divides,” respectively, both taken from the band’s debut full-length, 2002’s No Reply) — the same way I discovered Neurosis (“The Tide” and “A Sun that Never Sets,” respectively, appeared on those same collections) and literally dozens of other artists that I fell in love with in the early part of this millennium.

Anyway, fast-forwarding through the next decade, Daylight Dies went on to sign with Candlelight Records and put out two more albums, and now we find that Candlelight is set to release a third (the band’s fourth overall, for those keeping score at home)…

 
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