Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race (Album Review)

Denver, Colorado misfits Blood Incantation are set to release their sophomore album, Hidden History of the Human Race, on Friday, November 22nd through Dark Descent Records. 

Originally formed in 2011 with Paul Riedl handling guitar/vocals, Isaac Faulk on drums, they quickly added Guitarist Morris Kolontyrsky along with Bassist Jeff Barrett. A difficult band to label, they issue a steady series of demos ahead of their critically acclaimed 2016 debut album, Starspawn. Now they take the next step in their progression with  Hidden History of the Human Race.  Eclipsing its predecessor by two minutes, Hidden History of the Human Race follows something of a reverse order in layout. Whereas Starspawn began with its longest track, thirteen minutes of “Vitrification of Blood (Part I)” ahead shorter morsels, this time Blood Incantation does the opposite, ending their new four track album with “Awakening from the Dream of Existence to the Multidimensional Nature of Our Reality (Mirror of the Soul),” a title topped only by its eighteen minute runtime. 

Absorbing the desolate start to “Inner Paths (to Outer Space),” it is not difficult to imagine the album’s titular humans huddling together, attempting to light a frantic bundle of sticks while the universe explodes into form around them. The blank canvas is improved by the sparse vocals which are other than a muffled bit of conversation stuffed into the mix at the halfway point, only a quick deep growl appears at the end of the track. The mood shifts slightly as a cool breath of Progressive Rock blows across the landscape. This weather change almost manages to hold for the remainder of the track. However, the strong Metal influences do eventually burst through as the denouement turns into a brisk death march. 

Then there is “The Giza Power Plant,” which has the most obvious technical influences, with Death and Morbid Angel each crashing their way into the mix. Although, the frantic fretwork is sure to open more minds than it closes. Clean melodic guitar passages bring a sense of calm barely two minutes into the song, and the slow rumbles of English Doom Metal from the early ’90s enters the fray. This sound returns later during the later movements of “Awakening from the Dream of Existence to the Multidimensional Nature of Our Reality (Mirror of the Soul),” book-ended by some chilling guitar, but not before more than ten minutes of bleak sounds devoid of warmth. Overall, it offers some of the strongest work on the album – from the punchy rhythm guitar to the high soaring solos, with the gruff, deep vocal of Riedl filling gaps as needed. 

From the strong Death Metal power of opener “Slave Species of the Gods,” clear through the Doom Metal leanings of epic closer “Awakening from the Dream of Existence to the Multidimensional Nature of Our Reality (Mirror of the Soul),” frantic chord changes, tactical genre shuffles, and seismic shifts in sound are part and parcel of Blood Incantation’s résumé. Song to song, minute to minute, the band is all over the map – changing from Death Metal, to Black Metal, to Doom Metal, to points strafing the realms of Prog Rock and even Jazz. With long atmospheric patches designed for reflection, it is all done with inimitable skill and that is why Cryptic Rock gives Hidden History of the Human Race 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase Hidden History of the Human Race:

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