18 Sep 2023 - Stephan
Death Metal | Ambient | Century Media | Release date: 15 Sep 2023 | Favorite song: Luminscent Bridge
Close your eyes and take a deep breath! Can you hear the silent whimpering, shaky sniffling and watery dripping in the distance? Yes, that’s the faint sound of fragile boys sobbing. The Death Metal elite is very sad again, because they’ve heard that Blood Incantation’s new release would be one half Metal and one half Ambient again.
But while the tears of narrow-minded gatekeepers have always tasted sweet and it for sure already is a laudable thing in itself to bring them out, the band thankfully doesn’t even care about this sideshow. Instead they just concentrate on further developing their unique identity between traditional Death Metal and esoteric science-fiction. So this isn’t trolling with leftover recordings from both their last Metal album Hidden History of the Human Race and the full-on Ambient synth work Timewave Zero, but a movement towards new horizons from both of these starting points. Neither of the two tracks on Luminiscent Bridge is a simple rehash of things the band has done before.
That being said side A certainly is more like the bread and butter which the fundamentalists found missing last time. “Obliquity Of The Ecliptic” is a wild ride which sees Blood Incantation stuff in half an hour’s worth of ideas into an eight and a half minute rollercoaster of brutal blasts and complex Technical Death Metal with dissonant elements and Morbid Angel trademark guitar squeaks. Speaking of the axes, it’s absolutely impossible to decide what’s their greatest achievement here, because every single one of the manifold riffs is a killer and the leads move from sick shredding wizadry to absolutely gorgeous magnificence. And just like longer rollercoasters have a breather at the top, Blood Incantation also find the time to bring back a bit of that Ambient atmosphere with a trippy Synthwave breakdown. Finally at the end the song fades into electronic meandering to indicate what’s coming on the other side…
…which like I said before is NOT Timewave Zero, part II. Instead the title track cuts back on Klaus Schulze and brings in more Gilmour/Wright. So yes, there are drums and big guitars, and without the context of the previous release being installed as a rage trigger even the angriest critics of Bob Dylan moving from Folk to Rock Music now probably wouldn’t have had an issue hearing this in the middle of an otherwise Death Metal-centric full album. It actually feels a lot like the instrumental “Voice Of the Soul” on Death’s The Sound Of Perseverance. Beautiful stuff which has an equally rightful place in Blood Incantation’s cosmos of von Däniken space Jesus mythology and obscure VHS tape mysteries.
Like always the group from Colorado loves to nerd out on pop-cultural references. It starts with the format. Unsurprisingly for a band which marketed a full-hour Ambient album as an EP, this actual EP now is rather branded as a 12” Maxi Single, because what would be more 1980’s, right? Frankie Goes To Hollywood approves. Fittingly the old-school computer graphics style artwork brings to mind the Tron feel of Herbie Hancock’s revolutionary Future Shock, an album which ironically indeed shocked many fans of the Jazz Fusion legend by being the first major release bringing Hip Hop culture into the eye of the mainstream. You see, that story’s always klind of the same, only the styles and players change over the decades.
Since Century Media still avoids Bandcamp like the plague, the best way to get a first impression of this small but awesome 45rpm Space Metal Maxi is to watch the official video for “Obliquity Of The Ecliptic”, which includes some super subtle nods to Stanley Kubrick. So better don’t blink or you might miss them!