Upon first glance, the logo for Colorado death metal outfit Blood Incantation looks unintelligible. However, once you understand what it’s supposed to read, it becomes obvious. Such is the way with Bloodspawn, a superbly crafted technical “cosmic” death metal album. One or two listens isn’t enough to take in everything that Blood Incantation are doing. Only multiple listens will do the listening experience justice, and then their vision comes into focus.
Each riff, each drum fill, and each lead is where it should be for a reason, not just to fill empty space. The lead track, “Vitrification of Blood (Part 1),” clocks in at nearly 14 minutes, but doesn’t seem unending. The rhythms and soundscapes show what Blood Incantation are good at, and that’s creating an otherworldly ambiance. “Chaoplasm,” the second track on the album, is a more traditional death metal sounding track, but still has a progressive element that sets them apart from other bands. Be sure to listen for the double-guitar attack of Morris Kolontyrsky and Paul Riedl, the latter of whom also serves as lead vocalist. “Hidden Species (Vitrification of Blood Part 2)” is the standout track for me. Isaac Faulk puts on a master class in drumming and Jeff Barrett on fretless bass adds tremendous depth, making this one of the heaviest tracks I’ve heard in 2016.
Blood Incantation do not reinvent the wheel with Starspawn. What they do is take the existing parameters of death metal, add their own unique touch, toss in technical instrument proficiency, and deliver an album that deserves to be considered as one of the best of this year.
Starspawn is ouT August 18 on Dark Descent Records. Pre-order it here!