At first, I couldn't get into this record. Incantation churns out some of the bleakest, most crushing death metal on the planet, and if you're sampling the band for the first time, their sound can be dense and inaccessible. It's aural sewage. 1994's Mortal Throne of Nazarene is their sludgiest album to date, and to be perfectly honest, it made me feel like a lightweight. The production is impenetrably thick, the riffs spume with low-toned resonance, and the deep growls are proudly demonic. Around the third listen, I finally began to jive on Nazarene's epic scope.

Vocalist Craig Pillard's banausic croaks are completely unintelligible. Normally, this would go on the list of cons, but the monotonous "singing" serves to augment the atmosphere generated by rest of the band. This is good background music. With the exception of maybe three cuts, the songs blend into one another. You have to be paying attention to know when a track ends. Normally, this would also count as a con, but fuck it. Mortal Throne of Nazarene shouldn't be judged as a collection of catchy ditties; it should be judged as an experience.

My favorite movements are "Demonic Incarnate," "Emaciated Holy Figure," "The Ibex Moon," the 52-second "Blissful Bloodshowers," and the 8-minute "Abolishment of Immaculate Serenity." Listen to them.

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