Veteran death metallers Incantation are topical with their seventh studio album Primordial Domination, an effort which perhaps shows the most diverse side of the band to date. A little while ago I got the chance to ask guitarist/vocalist John McEntee about the new album, the limitations in their style and their long running cooperation with engineer Bill Korecky.

John McEntee interviewed by PSL

Over the years Incantation has become an institution in death metal, but it seems like you've never archived quite the same popularity as Immolation and other veterans. Any ideas on why that is so?
Maybe not in Europe, but in the US we are about the same size as Immolation. But really it's not a contest; we play because we like the music. We are very satisfied of our history and feel very thankful for the great support we get as a band all over the world.

Your music is not the most accessible of them all. A lot of people would probably say your music is monotone and others won't. I belong to the last category, but it takes a couple of listens to fully digest. Do you think what characterizes good and durable music is that it usually doesn't sink in right away?
Our music is not something for trendy ears. We write deep songs about real feelings from our soul. Our music is more about a dark heavy vibe than making assessable songs. It feels great when people understand our music, because when you write for yourself, then people are feeling the same kind of feeling you are and not just liking your music, because they think we are the most brutal or fastest band.

Primordial Domination sounds like the logical successor to Decimate Christendom, but still it sounds a little different. Are there things you've done another way this time around?
We wanted a more riff sounding album. We also wanted a better production while still keeping the raw aggressive feeling. I think it's a very lively album and feel that we have succeed in accomplishing what we wanted to.

Do you see limitations to how much you can evolve with the musical framework of the band?
Not really, yes there are things I would never do with Incantation but I feel that as long as I can envision the Incantation feeling, then the band will be limitless.

Once again you've recorded at the Mars Recording Compound with engineer Bill Korecky. Was there any particular reason for you to go for this solution again?
We like working with Bill. He helps us out a lot and knows how to help the band sounding the way we want. He also pushes us to our limits, and that is another important thing for the studio. You want to have a strict engineer to make sure you are not slacking.

To me it sounds like you've archived what perhaps is your best production to date. Is this also how you hear it yourselves?
Yes, I feel that we have achieved what we wanted. To me this is the right production for the band; raw, dark but still clear. We don't want to sound like every other band out there, and I think this album has a true death metal production and is a great production for Incantation.

Do you see Incantation sticking with Bill Korecky in the future?
Yes, but we are never going to say we will not work with anyone else, but for the moment we are more then happy working with Bill! He is like a member of the band.

You were reduced to a trio on the predecessor Decimate Christendom. Have you permanently settled on continuing as a trio?
Yes, but like I said before; you never say never! But it is not easy to find a guitarist who can feel what we need in the band. Not many newer guitarists have the good old school feeling we need to make Incantation sound right.

The vocals used to be ultra low and impossible to understand. This has gradually changed a little along the way. Is this solely due to the change of vocalist or was it something you wanted to move away from?
We like good low vocals and higher, midrange vocals too. It's more about the feeling the vocals hold, and not if it's low or not! I do think that too many death metal bands now play with only ultra low, and that just sound monotone. I like the old feeling of Craig Pillard and Mark from Rottrevore. To me they do low vocals with feeling!

You've released Primordial Domination though your own label Ibex Moon in the US. Was this a natural step for you?
Yes, it was, I have been doing the label in the states for a few years now, and there are not many labels here that really support death metal that have major US distribution. So it just seemed like the right thing to do and for sure it was! Things here are going great with the label!

You recently signed a distribution deal with Megaforce for the US, and now bands like Incantation and Dawn Of Azazel are on the rooster. Seems like things are going well so are you looking to expand Ibex Moon further?

Yes, I want to do my best with the label. I feel like I have some great bands Like Bloody Sign, Thornafire, Estuary, Funerus, Dawn Of Azazel, Incrust, Denial Fiend, and Hell Born. It's very expensive to do a label, but I really want to make the death metal scene stronger. I feel that there are too many trendy metal heads here and they need to hear some real metal.

A while ago there were talks about releasing a DVD. Have you abandoned these plans or are you still working getting that DVD out?
No, we are not apposed to finishing it. It's just that we don't have the time to finish getting everything together. We will try to get it done with in the next year, but only time will tell.

You've played all over the world. Is the crowd different whether you play in the US, Europe or South America?
Well, the feeling people have in South America is just insane! They really have a great metal vibe. But all over the world there are diehard metal heads that makes playing kick ass, but just in South America there are more diehards that go to the shows.

How's the fanbase these days. Is it the same people who come to the shows or do new people show up as well?
Most of the fanbase are people who have been following the band for the last five years along with a few old school people and a good amount of young kids that have just started liking us.

You have a European tour in the works together with Malevolent Creation. Will this stop by Denmark?
Yes, we are touring with Malevolent Creation this winter. It should be killer; we have been friends with those guys for many years so it should be a lot of fun. It sucks, but this tour will not hit Denmark. It seems like a lot of tours never make it to Denmark. I really don't know why.

Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
Just thanks for the interview! Check out the Primordial Domination release. And we look forward to seeing you crazy fucks on tour in 2007!

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