I have only heard 3 of Vade's albums, and this one is without a doubt the best of the 3. It is also the first one I heard. The other 2 I heard are The Beast and De Profundis. The Beast sounds a bit like Morbid Angel on their Domination album only faster. But The Ultimate Incantation is definetely Pure Vader. I think that most bands only make one album that is really really good, and they either do it with their debut or some time down the track when they gain experience, but Vader had all the experience when they released their debut, and they had more energy and imagination aswell. This is one of those classic death metal albums that you have to have in your collection if you're a fan of 90's death metal that is. Most of the death metal released in the 90's was superb, but there was probably only one album from each band that stood out for particular listeners. I have always liked a band's debut more than later efforts except for a few bands that actually got better with time like Sinister with their Hate album which is in my opinion their best release and Morbid Angel's Domination, but then Morbid Angel also did very well on their debut Alters Of Madness aswell, though they grew into a larger beast later with Domination. It's just like how Metallica's debut Kill Em All is their most liked, but so is the black album, but I also like Ride The Lightning aswell, maybe even more. It's just personal taste really. But it does also have a lot to do with how much effort was put into the album, and Vader's The Ultimate Incantation seems to me that Vader put a lot more effort and energy into than the the other 3 albums I've heard. I suspect that they have not and will not ever release a cd as powerful, as imaginative, as atmospheric or as epic as The Ultimate Incantation.
The production is typically early 90's with a low treble sound and much of that blocked sound that sounds like you're listening to it from inside a closed box while the stereo is outside the box. Well, I happen to like this sound very much and admire all early 90's death metal that have this sound incorporated into their production. Some bands had too much treble, but that is the other side of the scale. Really when it comes down to the core it doesn't really matter about production as much as the skill of the band, and Vader have the skills to make some of the most exhilerating death metal ever produced.
When I listen to this album I feel like I'm being taken on a journey much like a movie. I can't explain in words what the journey looks like in my head, but it is like the ultimate movie that can change with every listen but also comes back to the original feelings I get when I listen to it.
Every track on this album is 5 stars. I never skip a track, especially because skipping tracks in this album defeats the purpose of the story telling, it's like an epic tale being told and you must not miss out on a chapter or the rest will not make as much sence.
This is one of the deepest and most image provoking albums of all time. Get it, and then prepare to journey through Vader's astonishing worlds of chaos, reincarnation, sorcery, death, a state of mind unimagined.
This is the only album that has the power to take your mind and thoughts to another world that is like the hell that we death metal fans dream of as our home.
If you don't have this cd and you are a death metal fan, I feel sorry for you, because you my friend are missing out on The Ultimate Incantation.