Every form of artwork needs to evolve in some way in order to stay vital and relevant. You’re seeing that now with network television, where an absolute void of creativity and willingness to make changes is causing their viewership to erode to subscription channels with far better content. Adapt or die.
The same can be said for death metal, a style of music that has a portion of its audience that wants it one way and one way only. We have plenty of guttural brutal bands, as well as those that pay homage to the style’s roots, be that in the swamps or the Scandinavian regions. But the way death metal will persevere is through artists with fresh approaches that also keep the heart of the music true. One of the bands doing that in a major way is Blood Incantation, whose debut record “Starspawn” is about to drop in our laps. This record is being met with much anticipation mainly based on the group’s excellent, eye-opening 2015 EP “Interdimensional Extinction” and split with Spectral Voice (with whom they share members), and the five songs they present on this amazing debut not only will satisfy those who were waiting impatiently for its arrival, but also for those who want a new dose of creativity from their death metal. Package delivered.
Blood Incantation do everything right to give birth to a new dawn of death metal while also keeping the main elements of this style of music bloody and sticky. “Starspawn” is plenty brutal, but it’s also mind-altering, cosmically volatile, and a collection that even could pull in those who hunger for technical prowess. It all works so well, and the added bonus of the music’s strangeness makes what they do here even more alluring. The band is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Paul Riedel (Spectral Voice, Abysmal Dimensions), guitarist Morris Kolontyrsky (Spectral Voice, Stillborn Fawn), bassist Jeff Barrett (Spectral Voice, ex-Velnias), and drummer Isaac Faulk (Wayfarer, Abysmal Dimensions), and they create as vortex of madness that rushes you into space and applies enough pressure to pop your eyes from your skull.
Opener “Vitrification of Blood (Part 1)” is the 13:08-long opener, erupting right away into a patch of spacey muck and strangeness, with the guitar work immediately going to work on your mind. The harsh growls make their first appearance, thrashing away at you, with spacious melodies swimming all through the mire. The track then starts to trudge violently as it continues to explore what lies far beyond our planet, before the band blasts into hyperdrive. A nice stretch of soloing gets the heart racing before things go clean and fluid right before a thrashy ending. “Chaoplasm” has an ugly, brutal start with gurgly growls unloading filth and the tempo going off the rails. Echoes prod and psychedelic glaze is poured over the violence, with the vocals seething and the guitar work twisting your brain. There is a final detonation of power before the track is swallowed into a noise cloud.
“Hidden Species (Vitrification of Blood Part 2)” pounds away from the start, with the vocals ripping gigantic holes and the music stymying and the haze thickening. Later, we soar back into space, with guitar work simmering in mud, and even some cleaner calls arriving to hint at serenity. That pushes toward a dreamy sequence that borders on hypnotic, only to have guitars blaze out of that, ending in a weird dose of punishment. “Meticulous Soul Devourment” is an interdimensional instrumental beginning with noise hovering and guitars zapping, with the melodies becoming mysterious and eerie, and the body of the track melting into the stars. The closing title track is clubbing and relentless from the start, with the band chugging and chewing up ground, and the growls spat out at a blinding clip. Much of the playing is rubbery and sinewy, with the soloing beaming into the universe, the track beginning to combust, and the final growls landing the odd, monolithic exclamation point.
Blood Incantation are one of the most promising new death metal bands anywhere, and the arrival of “Starspawn” could be looked back at years from now as the dawning of a new era for this style of music. This is brutally creative, intergalactically challenging music that proves there is far more to explore not only with death but for metal in general. It’s now up to everyone else to catch up to these guys.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Blood-incantation-508899805936788
To buy the album, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/