Today’s single is a relic, both of my collection of the death metal renaissance of the early 1990’s. I originally purchased this record via mail order in 1992 or ’93, not sure exactly. And it’s in my collection today, though it spent a very long time not in the collection. It’s a story I’ll tell after getting into the songs.
Incantation are a US East Coast death metal band, having been at it since 1989. While never a chart-topping act with radio play, they have had a huge influence across the extreme metal scene with their blend of death and doom elements. Their 1992 debut Onward To Golgotha is hailed 30 years later as a classic of death metal and it’s the album from which the songs on this 7 inch single are drawn.
There’s no need for me to get to long-winded about the songs. I’ll post them both here. The A-side is the title track and the B-side is Profanation, both songs are from Onward To Golgotha. The single was released in 1991 before the full length came along in 1992. Both of these are prime cuts of what’s known as “cavernous” death metal, like the kind of shit you’d hear if you were locked in a medieval dungeon.
I originally came into this record in 1992 (I think…), it was a part of my very first mail order of underground metal stuff. I got the record and the full-length album on tape, as well as the first album and another 7 inch single of Amorphis. I was pretty stoked to have this kind of stuff in my collection, there was only one other person in my pissant little hometown who was into this kind of music.
Fast forward a few years and I shipped off to the Navy. In fact I was in Europe for a bit over three years. My music collection, including all of this, sat at my mom’s house and survived a move (thankfully just a few miles away). I got back from the Navy and reintegrated my old crap, including this single, into my existence.
A few years after that in what I think was 2002, I met a friend who was very, very into metal in all its forms. He and I are very good friends to this day, in fact. I mentioned having this single as well as the Amorphis record and he was interested in buying them. Given that I didn’t really care about them at the time and was also pretty hard up for money, I cut the deal.
Now on to late 2006 – we went a few hours away to an Incantation show on Black Friday (the day after US Thanksgiving for those unfamiliar). My buddy took this record with him and Incantation mainstay John McEntee signed the cover for him. There was also a newer 7 inch single running around at that time that John also signed for my friend and which is now also in my collection, we’ll get to that in a few weeks.
Fast forward to, uh, 2019 or maybe even 2020, or hell 2021, I don’t recall exactly. I think it was 2020 but I don’t know, the hell with remembering stuff. Anyway – my buddy and I were doing as we often do on Friday nights, drinking beer and listening to metal. We were shooting the shit about the price of records and we wound up going through his 7 inch singles collection to see what the prices of things were. Well, it turns out the Discogs median on this Incantation record was pushing $50, as was the 2006 single he’d bought at the show.
So, after slamming a few more beers and discussing a price that was fair and saw my pal rake in a tidy little profit but also kept me from having to shell out median prices, I am once again the owner of my old single as well as the other one. The stuff you’ll do after a few beers, that could be a blog all its own.
And that is the story of this single, which is kind of beat to hell but still playable and very nice to have, as I honestly don’t have much stuff now that I did in my childhood.