New music from Blood Incantation has been eagerly awaited ever since debut album “Starspawn” came out in 2016, announcing itself as one of this decades most pivotal and evolutionary compositions in death metal (alongside their undisputed award for Most Unreadable Band Logo Ever).
Like its predecessor, “Hidden History Of The Human Race” is short on time and songs but high in quality. Rather than playing it safe and delivering more of the same, there is an increased level of sonic diversity available across the mere four tracks that make up this sophomore album. Lurching from the complex Morbid Angel-isms that introduce “Slave Species of the Gods” to reflective eastern flavoured melodies ala Nile on “The Giza Power Plant”, sinister groove orientated riffs sit alongside break-neck Origin-esque blasting throughout. Discordance makes for an unlikely yet fitting bedfellow with melody, and though influences such as Nocturnus are clearly worn on their collective sleeves, there is a flavour of originality in how they weave these influences together.
“Inner Paths (to Outer Space)” provides a surreal journey of progressive exploration, fretless bass taking centre stage for the majority of this instrumental, even if the song does devolve into a rather stock breakdown towards the end of the track. Closing the album, “Awakening From the Dream of Existence to the Multidimensional Nature of Our Reality (Mirror of the Soul)” has a ridiculously long title to match its eighteen minute length. It boasts moments of complex progressive guitar work with cavernous atmospherics, before closing with a doomy melodic passage that My Dying Bride may have dropped.
It’s too early to judge if this album will be as highly revered as “Starspawn”, though Blood Incantation (alongside River Of Nihil) are doubtless proving themselves to be leading lights at the brutal end of the progressive death metal spectrum. “Hidden History Of The Human Race” is a further step in their musical evolution which will having fans and critics alike still discussing long into 2020.