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With ‘Profane Nexus’ Incantation delivers their eleventh studio album in a quarter century and with this new album they prove that they are still a force to be reckoned with. Incantation once again delivers some of the most punishing and raw oldschool death metal from the deepest depths of hell, mixed with some of the heaviest and darkest doom parts I have heard in recent years. Not without reason Incantation played a special DOOMcantation set at the Brutal Assault festival this year. Shortly before the band headed over to Europe I spoke with bassist Chuck Sherwood and guitarist John McEntee about the new record.

By: Dennis | Archive under death metal / grindcore

Hi guys, how are you doing? Your eleventh album 'Profane Nexus' will be released on August 11. It took you a while to write the album, Kyle mentioned somewhere you have been working on the album for almost three years. What can you tell about the writing process?
Chuck: We actually wrote the album rather quickly. Only took a few months. It was just the recording process that had some unforeseen issues which delayed everything. Having to make us go back and re-record our tracks like three-four times hahaha But it's finally out now. The writing is killer whether it's organic by writing at a practice or 'file sharing' what we create on our own since we're about four to eight hours from one another. We present the completed 'skeletons of a tune' or individual riffs that we'll work together to flesh out. We usually end up with too much material.... Now we have about twelve-thirteen songs for future releases.

I am always interested to know what band you are listening to currently and which music has influenced you when you wrote the songs for 'Profane Nexus'?
Chuck: Someone else just asked me this recently. I've been listening to Goblin since the loss of George Romero actually. Aside from that Fluisterwoud, Tank, Gospel of the Horns, Whiplash etc. When writing for 'Profane Nexus' I remember listening to Bethlehem's 'Dark Metal' and some early Dark Angel and Possessed of course hahaha.

You are a returning customer to Dan Swanö’s Unisound Studio for mixing and mastering the new album, since the last two albums 'Dirges of Elysium' and 'Vanquish in Vengeance' were also mixed and mastered by him. Was this a matter of never change a winning team or why did you decide to have him mix and master the album?
Chuck: Besides his resume of past projects and our own history. Dan really is an expert in his field. Great to work with and is never to modest to give constructive criticism. We admire that cause he shows he cares enough to get the best performance from us in order to work is sorcery. The end result is just sick!

'Profane Nexus' will be released on Relapse Records, the record label that you started with in the early days and released your first five records on. How did this renewed cooperation come about?
Chuck: After some outlining circumstances that led to us leaving Listenable we were presented with a reunion of sorts with Relapse. For my involvement, I've been very pleased with their communication and help. Being very supportive and showing that all aspects of their team give great results. From promotion to merch and just now we got the vinyls in and they're killer.

John: It's great to be working with Relapse again. At the time we left is was the best thing for the band. They were going in a more modern direction and we just didn't fit in with their roster. Now they are pretty much a totally different label and they have proved to use they want to do the right thing for us so all is good.

At Brutal Assault Festival this August you are going to play three days, each with a different set. A 'Profane Nexus'-set, a Doomcantation set and an afterparty-set. A wicked idea! How did this idea come about? I am especially interested in why you are doing a special doom set, and also, why is this going to be the first time you are doing this? Why haven’t you done that before?
Chuck: I guess it was something that never was really presented as an option. While the more epic doom songs have always made their way into our set. I guess it is how to best find the receptive crowd or who you're on the road with. Too much stark contrast could make the crowd bored and leave, while others would welcome it. Not to say that is the ultimate deciding factor, I dunno. We always like to diversify the set, just so happens this time we get to do all doom which sounded great to us. Hahaha.

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For the new record you shot a video for 'Messiah Nostrum', what can you tell about the video (shoot) and the idea behind it?
Chuck: That was shot in Cleveland by Don Tyler who is amazing to work with. He and I went over the lyrical concept and sifted through each visual to best express the song. It's about all of the world's religions and its followers prayers culminating in a place in the cosmos before time. Creating a genesis of a new messiah feeding like an accretion disc off their failed hopes and desires. Once brought into existence, its only goal is destroy what created it.

In April you toured Europe with Morgoth, Darkrise, and Omophagia. How did the tour go and where there any juicy stories to tell about?
Chuck: That tour was awesome! It was killer to reunite with Morgoth since our first meeting on the final Bolt Thrower run and great to have a shared a stage with Dark Rise and Omophagia. This isn't necessarily juicy but.... We had to switch out our bus mid tour because of engine troubles. Strange, but both that one and its replacement burned down after our tour in Germany hahahaha. True story.

I noticed you already have a North American tour booked with Marduk and Abysmal Dawn in August / September. Are you guys looking forward to that one? And how about Europe, are there any plans already for a European tour to support the new album?
Chuck: I missed the last leg that Incantation did with Marduk due to work obligations so I'm looking forward to making up for lost time. Even got new gear via recommendation from a friend in Shed the Skin and am anxious to try it in a live situation. There's nothing concrete as of yet for our return to Europe, I stress yet. We're all looking forward to bringing this overseas so it'll happen for sure.

Incantation has been going on for 25 years and bases on the new record I would say Incantation is still relevant to the death metal scene and you guys still have something to say. Are you happy with where you are at with the band and are there still any things you would like to accomplish with Incantation?
Chuck: For my near decade with Incantation I find my goals are always how best to express our material in whatever medium and area it can be. The releases (musically and lyrically), video, artwork, merch, tours etc. They're never to lofty, but what an addiction to the experiences and camaraderie, we'll continue for as long as we're inspired. You can count on that.

What is you view of the current state of death metal? There seems to be a really good vibe going on at the moment with lots of high quality death metal releases from many old school bands…
Chuck: Couldn't agree more. I've even heard recently that they're calling this "The Year of Death Metal' through publications. But I see it more in the places all over the world that we've visited and have had the honor of playing. Fans have been really positive and supportive. While the old style of Death Metal has a resurgence with the likes of classic bands releasing such great albums. It's an amazing time without a doubt.

When your wife suffered from a heart attack and medical bills started piling up, I noticed a lot of bands helped you out with donations for instance Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. How did it feel to be supported by people from the Death Metal scene in this way?
John: It was incredible to see the outreach from the underground metal scene. It's just overwhelming support. I don't even know how to express how grateful we are. All we can say is thanks. It's great to see metal helping out metal.

How is Jill doing? And can we expect something from Funerus in the coming time?
John: Jill is doing a lot better, it's been a difficult few years for her with a bunches of surgery and mental health issues. As for Funerus, Jill will not be doing anything in the near future. she has to concentrate on her health at the moment.

Anything I forgot to ask that you would like to share with our readers?
John: I'm not sure, just thanks to everyone for their long time support. And check out Kyle's other band Shed the Skin.

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