Evil Incarnate – Blackest Hymns Of God’s Disgrace

I liked Evil Incarnate’s third album, 2005’s ‘Waiting For His Return’, quite a bit.  But for some reason this leaves me kind of cold.  I guess it’s because it’s a more basic, traditional style of oldschool death metal that doesn’t resemble the abstract, convoluted structuring of the later album very much.  It’s hard to hear the third and then listen to the deep regression that this album represents stylistically and expect to enjoy them the same amount; either you’re particularly whetted to the Hell’s Headbangers breed of musical ethos or you’re not.  I’m in the latter category, so… eh, this isn’t too great to me.

I get the idea of this; it’s dark, Satanic death metal very firmly rooted in early Morbid Angel, Death, Deicide, etc. with a bit of Texas speed/death flair.  It’s supposed to be seen as sort of Nunslaughter’s younger, somewhat more serious brother, or perhaps the long lost death metal twin of Profanatica.  But by subtracting the, I don’t know, ‘perkiness’ of those two bands, you’re left with something that’s kind of musically hollow to me.  Evil Incarnate on this album presents a pretty straightforward run of traditional death metal riffing and capable instrumental performances, but a lot of the time those riffs and ideas don’t seem to really congeal into full-fledged songs.  I think the production might be part of it; it’s actually a bit overly bassy, and when the drums are going full force it reduces the music to a sort of uniform rumble that doesn’t really work as much on record as it does live.

Frankly, I think a lot of your enjoyment of this album would be based on how into the imagery and aesthetic you are.  Evil Incarnate has always been seen as a band for the more ‘serious’ of Satanic dabblers, and the lyrics lack any sort of irony, so I think that you might have to identify with the meaning of this music to enjoy it more.  I guess if you see early Incantation as a religious experience you’d probably like this more than I do, but as a generic upper middle class white kid with nothing to really complain about I don’t feel the need to really conjure any demonic forces into my life.  They express it pretty convincingly; the music does sound dark and evil in the late ’80s death/thrash way and I get the feeling like Satan is a relatively cool guy in their books, but I generally listen to death metal for the musical qualities more than the ideological.

That might be the linchpin to whether you’ll like this.  Do you see the ‘golden age’ of late ’80s/early ’90s death metal as a sort of lifestyle and ideology all to itself?  If so, this is probably the sort of album that would appeal to: it’s deadly serious about everything it’s expressing and it certainly is a perfect replication of that oldschool sound.  But for those who are in it for more musical reasons, it’s probably not going to be of great interest to you unless you’re a real diehard oldschool death metal fan.

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~ by noktorn on May 21, 2008.

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