Blood Incantation – Starspawn
Dark Descent Records
Release Date: August 19th, 2016
Review by Thomas Riley Lanyon
Colorado four-piece, Blood Incantation, have existed since 2011, creating dense, atmospheric death metal with an acute focus on ancient, esoteric, and metaphysical themes. To date, their sound has been spread across two demos, a split 7”, and the acclaimed EP, Interdimensional Extinction, released in August of last year. Now, only a year later, Blood Incantation has returned from some unknown dimension, bringing with them their highly anticipated debut full-length, Starspawn.
The astral voyage begins with Starspawn’s lengthiest track, Vitrification of Blood (Part 1), a 13-minute opus of dynamism that ebbs and flows between passages of pummelling, funereal death and stargazing ambience, each shift in tempo carrying immense weight, like a wrecking ball of cerebral punishment. It is, essentially, the perfect introduction to the record; not only does it set the listener up for what’s to follow, it also highlights the severe brilliance of Starspawn’s production. Recorded entirely in analogue, the sound is old-school in feel and evocation while remaining clean, hard-hitting, and intelligible. The result is equal parts cavernous and elegiac.
The remaining four tracks on Starspawn may be a little less grand in length and scope, however, that does not mean their place on the album isn’t earned. In fact, there isn’t a single song on Starspawn that isn’t a bona fide slab of technically proficient death. Chaoplasm is the album’s most direct song, a blazing five and half minutes that clearly illustrates drummer Isaac Faulk’s aptitude for galloping double bass and breakneck blast beats. The slithering fretless bass work of Jeff Barrett climbs its way to the surface on Hidden Species (Vitrification of Blood Part 2), a track that utilises droning sci-fi sounds and ritualistic chants to further enhance its cosmic qualities.
On Meticulous Soul Devourment, plucked acoustic strings and languid electric guitar entwine, crafting an instrumental lament that provides respite before the magnificent insanity of the title track; guitars jab and squeal, attacking the eardrum with the volatility of a swarm of hornets, courtesy of guitarist, Morris Kolontyrsky, and guitarist/vocalist, Paul Riedl, who wonderfully wields his guttural rasps and grunts all over Starspawn. Following one hell of a stunning solo, the title track ends how it began, savage and abrupt, willing you to wade into the celestial chasm once more.
ORDER YOUR COPY OF BLOOD INCANTATION’S, ‘STARSPAWN’