Genre: Death Metal | Label: Dark Descent Records
Location: Boulder, CO, USA | Listen: Bandcamp
Technical death metal is a genre that’s very hit or miss, with many bands missing the mark by a long shot. When I was a teenager, I became quite obsessed with the style, as the level of musicianship is a step above what most people can play. However, I found that the more bands I checked out, the more they just blended together into a mess of technical wankery in which nothing really stood out. The riff was lost, and eventually, so was my interest in this style of death metal.
Colorado’s Blood Incantation, however, have proved to me that quality technical death metal still exists. After releasing a trio of demos, these Rocky Mountain dwellers have teamed up with Dark Descent Records (who are also located in Colorado) for their debut EP. “Interdimensional Extinction” combines dazzling fretwork and science fiction themes into an old school death metal framework to create four memorable songs.
As stated, my biggest problem with a lot of technical death metal is that it just becomes an unmemorable mess. Blood Incantation, although technically proficient, do not sacrifice riffs to display their skill. Rather, their musical prowess enhances the riffs to give them that extra flair that’ll keep them in your mind. Listen to that death/thrash riff that comes up halfway through “Obfuscating the Linear Threshold” and you’ll see what I mean. These riffs induce some serious neck snapping, and that’s what death metal should be all about.
Blood Incantation’s songs are full of dynamics that are well arranged, giving each song it’s own identity. The opening track, “The Vth Tablet (Of Enûma Eliš),” has a break into a sweeping guitar lead, which is obviously dangerous territory where many bands would fall into a endless string of uninspired notes. However, these guys manage to make the lead guitars catchy, and that particular sweep will be stuck in your head for days. The second track features some death/doom breaks that balance out the speedier parts of the song. Catch and release songwriting is utilized very well on this EP.
“Hovering Lifeless” is perhaps the most standout track on this release. The intro is open and eerie, and allows the fretless bass to really shine. On that note, Damon Good (aka the Great Righteous Destroyer of StarGazer and several other quality Australian bands) fills in as a session member, and does a fantastic job doing so.
The EP ends off with its longest track, “Subterranean Aeon,” which again sees the band twisting their fingers around and turning the tempos on a dime without it feeling awkward. The outro utilizes some melodic playing on the fretless bass, and wraps up this 18 minute slab of music very nicely.
I really wish this EP was longer, as it seems to whiz by before you know it. It demands further listening, not because it’s difficult to comprehend, but because it’s just that addicting to listen to. That being said, it is understood that Blood Incantation has a full length in the works, which should be on everyone’s radar after listening to “Interdimensional Extinction.” Damian Herring (of Horrendous) once again did a wonderful job of making this release fulfill its potential in the production department. Blood Incantation has a very promising future, and anyone who enjoys classic technical death metal like Gorguts, Demilich, and Timeghoul should give this a listen if they haven’t already.