Blood Incantation – Timewave Zero
Released: February 25, 2022
Paul Riedl // guitars, vocals
Isaac Faulk // drums
Morris Kolontyrsky // guitars
Jeff Barrett // bass
For many devotees of extreme metal, this reviewer included, Blood Incantation’s second full length, “Hidden History of the Human Race”, was the finest album of 2019 – if not the decade as a whole. Their combination of classic death metal, with ambient, progressive and psychedelic influences, was a breath of fresh air in the admittedly sometimes monotonous genre. Combined with an unique lyrical and visual obsession with transcendental space and astral concepts, Blood Incantation quickly became one of the hottest bands in the underground scene.
Following up this critically lauded release was always going to be a tall task, but the Denver four piece already had their next move planned out. Rather than trying to top it, Blood Incantation have decided to put out an album solely focusing on the ambient and atmospheric side of their sound. No guitars, drums or vocals – Timewave Zero is made up solely of waves of keyboards and synthesisers.
Timewave Zero is hard to review and correctly critique. It’s clear from the outset that Blood Incantation have gone into full-blown Tangerine Dream territory. A bold move for sure, and you can imagine a lot of the material working their way into future live sets as between song stopgaps – but that’s the problem with this release; the whole thing feels like forty minutes of interlude music. The two tracks – ‘Io’ and ‘Ea’ – are broken up into seven parts, yet it might as well be one big piece, with very little to discern the previous number from the next. The album floats by without anything to really grab the listener.
Positives? Well it is very relaxing and probably great to listen to whilst enjoying a sensory-deprivation float-spa, or even falling asleep too; which is hard to not make sound like an insult. If we can be real for a second – perhaps Timewave Zero is best experienced while being high as a kite; the deluxe edition does include a Blu-ray of accompanying visuals, so it potentially works better with this additional component. But even then, surely after the first ten minutes even the most couch-locked stoner will be looking for something a little more stimulating.
Is Timewave Zero a massive mis-step for Blood Incantation? Not really, per se. As touched on before, Blood Incantation were always planning on releasing an album of this nature, so it shouldn’t come as a real surprise for those following along at home. However, it’s hard to imagine many fans of the group getting repeated listens from this effort. The most damning thing about Timewave Zero is that it’s the dreaded ‘b’ word – ‘boring’. Fingers crossed Blood Incantation will return with a LP more akin to their fantastic previous material soon.
Blood Incantation – Timewave Zero tracklisting:
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