By Dr. Abner Mality

Colorado’s Blood Incantation are not what they appear to be at first glance. The band name itself is of course more than a little reminiscent of the legendary Incantation. And the opening minutes of “Vitrification of Blood” seemed to show that we had a bald-faced Incantation ripoff here….roaring wind tunnel vocals, murky production, pummeling “sick” riffs.

But hold on a minute, bunky. Because this opening track lasts a staggering 13 minutes plus and gradually turns into something quite different than the usual “cavernous” death metal band. The roaring and pummeling give way to something that jams a lot more, with long, clean guitar solos, odd spacy melodies and even “jangly” sounding guitar. At 13 minutes plus, this just flutters along for too long and starts to sound like the Blood Incantation dudes are playing whatever comes into their heads. Different it certainly is…focused it is not.

But that’s the longest tune by far. The structure of this album is HIGHLY unorthodox.  “Chaoplasm” brings the sound of Morbid Angel circa “Covenant” and “Domination” to mind…”Hidden Species” is virtually psychedelic in parts and has more of that jangly guitar. “Meticulous Soul Devourment” is mostly spacey soundscape while the concluding title track is relatively short, tightly focused and with a feeling reminiscent of the much missed British “space death” band Mithras.

So whatever else you can call Blood Incantation, it’s not predictable. What seemed like an album of overlong Incantation-cloning morphed into something a bit more adventurous. It is still kind of disjointed and not entirely there yet, but there’s something here worth exploring further.