|Review: Incantation - Unholy Massacre|
Label: Necroharmonic Productions
Year released: 2016
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: August 13, 2016
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Rated 4/5 (80%) (8 Votes)
US Death Metal stalwarts, Incantation, were pioneering the so-called "NY Death Metal sound" when they came into existence back in 1989. The band was formed by John McEntee and Paul Ledney (Profanatica/Havohej). Both guys also had short stints in New Jersey's Revenant.
Back in the early days everything was done using the "DIY" method. Remember, folks, that there was no Internet in the late eighties/early nineties. Incantation firmly believed in their murky and brutal Death Metal sound back in those days – and they still do even nowadays for that matter. For those people who weren't there when everything cool was happening, a double disc affair, Unholy Massacre, was put together by the true old goat of the underground scene, Roy Fox, from Necroharmonic Productions, is a nice way to catch up with any band's past. That's what Unholy Massacre is mostly all about: presenting the very beginnings of this somewhat cult-ish, semi-legendary Death Metal act.
The music herein is offered the way people got to hear Incantation when in the tape trading scene. Nothing has been mastered, which may be something to complain about for some of you people out there. I personally don't mind having this gem out without going through the mastering process first. This is how I remember Incantation some friggin' 25+ years ago. All the material worth releasing – the demos, some rehearsals and soundboard live recordings are here – offers more than two hours of Incantation's brutalizing and bone-cracking Death Metal torment in one package, which is a very cool thing. The sound quality obviously varies quite a bit between each release on here, but do not worry as you get used to it eventually. Just do not think so hi-fi, okay? All the releases on these two discs are from the years 1990-91, even containing an unreleased 2-song demo from 1990 with Craig Pillard on vocals, which never crossed my rewarding path when I was heavily involved with the tape-trading thing back in the day. It's a cool find, no doubt.
Roy and/or Incantation have also used tons of old flyers and all kinds of art work from the band's early days for this release, which pretty much wrap the band up with the right time frame. What would have made things even a bit sweeter though: it would have been a great and useful idea to get some comments from John McEntee and ex-members to be included onto this release. Even getting short liner notes from the only original Incantation member left, John McEntee, would have made this release a teeny-weeny more special and interesting.
However, all in all, if you want to open this old door into Incantation's past, purchasing this collection of the band's early material is the right way to do it.
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Interview with vocalist and guitarist John McEntee on October 13, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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