Release Date: 25.02.2022
Record Label: Century Media
For Fans Of: John Carpenter, Oransi Pazuzzu,
After two albums of cosmic-minded technical death metal, Blood Incantation have peeled off the mask to reveal the eldritch horror lying beneath. In a stunningly bold move for a band who have led the charge for a recent resurgence of the genre, Timewave Zero removes every hint of metal, replacing brutal riffs with Carpenter-esque airy synths and hammering drums with ceaseless throbs that sound like the call of some ancient unspeakable extraterrestrial.
While these kinds of atmospheric passages were present on 2019’s Hidden History Of The Human Race,that record was still firmly a traditional metal release, with these moments providing additional texture and intrigue to a genre which can so often feel a little lacking in character and substance. But even with these in mind, no one could have predicted just how hard Blood Incantation would go into this ambient, unsettling territory. With no discernible structures or passages, the two tracks making up the record, ‘Io’ and ‘Ea’ seem to shift and swirl around you, making you seriously question whether or not the songs are actually changing with every listen.
Despite being seemingly impenetrable, the album still manages to capture your attention for every last second of its forty minute run-time. There is just something so absorbing about surrounding yourself in the ritual-like haze the band have created. At first you may be fooled into thinking there is a big build towards a moment of release, yet the band resist this temptation and are steadfast in their dedication to creating a completely ambient album that focuses purely on creating a sense of dreadful wonder. On the rare moments where traditional instrumentation comes in towards the end of each track, just a single clean guitar, it adds a strangely beautiful touch, and immediately jumps out as a familiar comfort to grab onto.
Some metalheads might be considering passing on this one, but those that do would be robbing themselves of the chance to hear what can happen when a band has a true vision of what they want to be. By applying the same experimental and carefree attitude to this project as the originators of the genre which spawned them did, Blood Incantation have unlocked something truly unique. If death metal is usually seen as the musical equivalent of a slasher flick, Timewave Zero is pure Lovecraft.