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Blood Incantation – “Starspawn” (Song Premiere)


For something so vast and empty, outer space is absolute chaos. No air, no friction, no life (as far as we know, but Blood Incantation might think otherwise). Endless momentum, exploding balls of gas the size of our solar system; make no mistake: space will fucking kill you. So why does metal’s recently revived obsession with space deal solely with its vast emptiness? Don’t get me wrong, Darkspace scratches a few itches, but space’s infinite activity does not a hollow infinity make. The sleek, Kubrick sci-fi of bands like Wormed and The Contortionist don’t quite encapsulate the random madness of space, either. No, to me, metal’s ideal representation of space’s infinite thirst for death and destruction is perfectly captured with Blood Incantation’s long-awaited debut, Starspawn.

Blood Incantation’s style of death metal is unique, but to use the word “new” wouldn’t quite do it justice. This new millennium has more than its share of bands trudging forward into new territory, which is fine, but without a solid base, any new direction is built on shaky ground. Blood Incantation’s intersection of the “classics,” paired with the benefit of hindsight, harnesses the greatness from which death metal built its standards and put it in a kaleidoscope. Echoes of the obvious, inherent strangeness of Timeghoul, Gorguts and Morbid Angel make their way through, but as the album progresses, shades of Leprosy‘s controlled progressive edge and the blasting mania of Mithras’s Forever Advancing…Legions (which might not be as “old school,” but it’s undeniable) make themselves equally as apparent. Blood Incantation’s psychedelic take on classic death metal was more than successfully communicated in last year’s Interdimensional Extinction EP, but the strange expanse of Starspawn cements these Colorado residents as a force to be reckoned with.

They say you should “start with your best foot forward,” but Blood Incantation plays the long game with this 34-minute bout of deep-space death metal, closing with the album’s titular track – their strongest effort thus far. Exploding into action with a riff which might as well be twin-guitar shred, the flash fire of “Starspawn”‘s violence exudes energy and practiced proficiency. The experimental, alien nature of the album reaches a head with the abstract, groovy music offered up here, but the few moments centering on melodic grandeur prove this four-piece play much more than the “old school” worship indicated by their aesthetic. The spastic, bizarre majesty which closes Starspawn is violent, ethereal, heavy, world-class death metal. I’d venture into Blood Incantation’s colorful, active, frighteningly violent painting of space, though I imagine I wouldn’t last long.

Starspawn will descend from the Deep Field on CD, vinyl, and cassette this coming August 19 through the venerable Dark Descent Records. Scroll down for an exclusive listen to the album’s titular, closing track.

Follow Blood Incantation on Bandcamp, and be sure to catch them on their Midwest/East Coast tour this Fall (I’ll be seeing them with Nucleus and Subjugation).

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