Incantation are a ferocious, mercilessly brutal outfit that is known for death metal, black metal, and grindcore — the words "pop" and "mainstream" are not in their vocabulary. The band has enjoyed a small underground cult following since the early '90s, and their followers (both American and European) love the fact that their particular brand of extreme metal is so far from the mainstream. Incantation have all of the ingredients that death metal and grindcore enthusiasts crave: insanely fast tempos, an obsession with Satanism and the Occult, and choked, grunting, evil-sounding vocals; in other words, everything that is guaranteed to intimidate mainstream audiences and frighten them away. However, metalheads have been quick to point out that Incantation aren't the sort of band that play at an ultra-fast tempo 100-percent of the time. While some death metal/black metal and grindcore bands never slow things down, Incantation have been willing to change tempos a lot. But whether the Pennsylvanians are playing fast, slow, or somewhere in between, their work never ceases to be blistering — they're about as subtle as a sledgehammer.
Over the years, Incantation have had more than their share of personnel changes. Like a lot of death metal bands, they've had a revolving door lineup. But McEntee (who's the only remaining member of the original 1990 lineup) has always held down the fort as the band's leader, guitarist, and main lyricist. Former members include, among others, Rahmer, Roe, Pillard, singer/guitarist/bassist Daniel Corchado, bassist Dan Kamp, and drummer Dave Culross (who is also a graduate of Malevolent Creation and Suffocation). Incantation celebrated their 12th anniversary in 2002, when the band's lineup included McEntee, vocalist Mike Saez, drummer Kyle Severn, and bassist Joe Lombard. The group pared down to a trio (McEntee, Lombard, and Severn) for 2004's Decimate Christendom, and again for 2006's Primordial Domination. After a long break they returned in 2012 with Vanquish in Vengeance, this time with McEntee and Severn joined by guitarist Alex Bouks and bassist Chuck Sherwood. Dirges of Elysium arrived in 2014, followed by Profane Nexus, their tenth studio long-player, in 2017. ~ Alex Henderson