Genre: Death Metal | Label: Relapse Records
Location: New Jersey| Listen: YouTube
Here’s a little piece of history from the endless depths of American death metal. New Jersey’s most evil death metal band, Incantation, had just started dealing with Relapse records. They had reissued their classic “Entrantment of Evil” EP, and slapped a photo of the band’s new (and third) line up on it. A little later in ’91, Relapse put out the first recording of this line up, which was the band’s heaviest yet. “Deliverance of Horrific Prophecies” is a mere two songs, with only one of them being new, but it was a glimpse of things to come, as this same line up would be featured on the “Onward to Golgotha” album.
Not only was this the first Incantation recording with Craig Pillard (vox/guitar) and Jim Roe (drums), it’s also the first recording they did at Trax East Studio in South River, NJ. This is important because both these members and this studio would be crucial to the sound of “Onward to Golgotha.” Likely because this was just intended to be a 7″, it’s a little more raw than the debut album, but it’s a better representation of Incantation’s sound than anything they had released previously. It’s definitely darker than the previous 7″, but more professional, with the kick drums being pretty well defined.
The A side features a new track, showcasing how dark Incantation’s songwriting was getting. “Deliverance of Horrific Prophecies” enters gloomy territory with some doomy guitar parts that twist around with Sabbathy trills at their tail ends. The dark atmosphere is emphasized by Pillard’s inhumanly low death metal vocals, giving former vocalist Will Rahmer (of Mortician) a run for his money. The version of this song here differs from the LP version, as there’s a whole extra outro section on this 7″ version. The B side is a re-recording of one of the oldest Incantation tracks, “Profanation.” A few versions of this already exist, and to no surprise, this is one of the most brutal ones yet. This one also appears on the debut record, but is pretty much in final form outside of recording quality at this point.
Despite being a mere two songs, this 7″ still gets the odd spin from me, as it’s without a doubt the heaviest pre-album material by Incantation. Casual fans of the band probably don’t need to hear this, but if you’re into hearing early works by some of the most important death metal bands, it’s worth hearing if not just for historical context. Otherwise, you’re better off just getting “Onward to Golgotha,” as it contains the penultimate versions of all the early Incantation material.