The Rickety Old Shack

Blood Incantation — Hidden History Of The Human Race

album cover

Until very recently, Blood Incantation were a complete unknown to me. It was only after seeing them live, supporting Immolation (review) that is became aware of them, as they pummeled me with a set of groovy death metal songs with a an interesting sci-fi theme. Sonically, I was reminded of Decrepit Birth, though less overtly technical and unrelentlingly fast. The band mentioned their forthcoming new record multiple times during their set, and left a strong impression on me: I loved what I heard and really wanted to experience the full album.

My anticipation was duly rewarded, as Hidden History Of The Human Race features all the highlights of the band's live show with the added benefit of studio polish. The whole album is blisteringly concise 36 minutes of first-rate death metal. The album artwork, in the style of 1970s sci-fi movie posters, complements the album's deep, paranormal, alternative history theme. Blood Incantation deliver a record that sounds like you took the best elements of Immolation and Sleep, and fused them together. Suffice it to say, this album is incredibly heavy, engaging, and features some long, sprawling jams — including a closing track that is over 18 minutes in length.

Hidden History Of The Human Race touches on some concepts that will be familiar with listeners of Joe Rogan's podcast and / or Coast To Coast AM. Tales of aliens genetically modifying cavemen and enslaving them, Egyptians (and other ancient civilisations) possessing secret, high-tech energy sources, and other bits of common conspiracy lore can be found throughout the record. The album consists of 4 tracks, with the closer featuring both a title and running time longer than the rest of the material combined. Each track transitions perfectly to the next, making the album feel very much like a singular performance that was cut up in the pieces for the listener's convenience. The closer shifts through a number of distinct passages, and includes some atomspheric backing synths that lend a spacey atmosphere without contrasting too heavily with the rest of the instrumental.

The first 3 cuts are vicious, brutal tracks that alternate between standard death metal fare; grinding riffs, sour pinch harmonics galore, and blast beats tasteful spread throughout the material. At no point does Hidden History Of The Human Race descend into long periods of monotonous, staccato bludgeoning; the compositions on this record are tight, and never dwells on any one riff or progression for too long. "Inner Paths (To Outer Space)" is a spacey number; not quite a segue track, but featuring a lengthy melodic interlude before "Awakening From The Dream..." comes on. There are progressive influences; aside from a very sparing use of synths, the instrumentation and overall feel of the record is still deeply rooted in the death metal genre. The back half of the record has a very strong Death influence, in the most satisfying way.

One of 2019's most pleasant surprises: Hidden History Of The Human Race is an excellent death metal record, and easily one of the year's best. Blood Incantation serve up a brutal blend of groove with a progressive tinge, reassuring fans that the death metal genre still has a lot to offer. This is effectively a perfect album, and runs just long enough to demand — and accommodate — multiple consecutive listens. This feels like a break-out album from a very talented project that deserves all the attention they can get.

Summary

Blood Incantation drop one of 2019's best death metal records in their second studio release, Hidden History Of The Human Race. This album is 36 minutes of brutal, satisfying death metal with progressive tinges. At its core, this is a death metal album but a nod to non-traditional song structures and a sprinkling of synths and melodicism make this one of the year's stand-out releases. Blood Incantation provide strong evidence that the death metal genre continues to evolve and still has a lot to offer listeners.

Album Information

Release date: November 22nd, 2019
Record label: Dark Descent Records

Paul Riedl — guitar, vocals
Morris Kolontyrsky — guitar
Jeff Barrett — bass
Isaac Falk — drums

Track Listing

  1. Slave Species Of The Gods
  2. The Giza Power Plant
  3. Inner Paths (To Outer Space)
  4. Awakening From the Dream Of Existence To The Multidimensional Nature Of Our Reality (Mirror Of The Soul)

Link: darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com

—by Derek

Published: November 27th, 2019.