Blood Incantation
Starspawn


4.3
superb

Review

by Jacquibim STAFF
August 15th, 2016 | 558 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A captivating journey into the cosmic abyss.

Rarely is old school death metal as convincingly “alien” as Blood Incantation’s Starspawn, if not for the Timeghoul-esque melodic oddities but simply for that elusive, otherworldly aura which is instantly recognisable though nearly impossible to describe. Despite the throwback style, it feels like the band approached each session with no real intention of emulating anyone, allowing their idiosyncrasies to flourish with impunity. Hence, the parallels between bands of yore seem more coincidental than anything else, as if Blood Incantation’s collective thought patterns somehow mirrored those of whom they’re supposedly paying homage to.

Starspawn puts the listener into a state of limbo; it’s immediately gratifying for anyone with a fondness for all things cavernous and oppressive, yet mystifying in its intricacies. Opener “Vitrification of Blood” starts by lurching like a cumbersome behemoth, almost liquid in its make-up, allowing for oddball dissonant leads to bubble atop the ooze of pungent riffs. As the rhythm section begins to find its feet, so too does the song’s sense of melody and harmony. Each sequence is more grandiose than the last, and the result is a potent tone shift around the halfway point. The soaring leads act as harbingers of doom, with every manic inflection further instilling a sense of dread, coupled with palpable awe in light of their seemingly cosmic origins. Given its thirteen-minute length, the song’s progression is nothing short of brilliant, making a strong case for it being not only the best opening track of the year, but the best of the year in absolute.

You could question the wisdom of placing the longest and strongest track first in the queue, but the remainders still effortlessly hold your attention, not least because of Starspawn’s production values that allow for multiple consecutive listens without fatigue. The guitar tone is organic and sibilance-free, without coming off as muddy – a sentiment that rings true for the drumming, as well. You can practically feel the sticks recoiling off the untriggered snare, as drummer Isaac puts more expression into individual strokes than some contemporary drummers manage to do in a whole album. Finally, Paul’s guttural vocals loiter in the middle-ground, draped in reverb and coalescing with the rhythm guitar in terms of presence. Even comparatively straight-forward songs like the galloping “Chaoplasm” and the surprisingly melodious title-track are enriched by the charismatic way in which all these constituents blend together.

However, lumping praise upon any particular quality only goes far in doing Starspawn justice. The album is more than can be expressed with words, doing away with the pragmatism that so often reduces old-school revival albums to nothing other than the sum of their parts. Blood Incantation have an acute understanding of the intangibles of music and how to evoke them, which couldn’t be reflected more vividly than in their artistry, itself.




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user ratings (270)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Astral Abortis CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
"You think old-school is 1993!"...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2016


1630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been sitting on this for a little while, hope y'all like it.



Album rules, stream it here: https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/starspawn

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brainmelter
August 15th 2016


3744 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

beautiful

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adr
August 15th 2016


11511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Timeghoul comparison is intriguing



Review is nice

tempest--
August 15th 2016


19882 Comments


why haven't i got this yet what the heck!

tempest--
August 15th 2016


19882 Comments


nah I meant, why haven't I ordered it yet lol
I usually get straight on to any sweet new DD death metal

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2016


1630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Does the vinyl have the artwork as it appears here or does it have that black border with the logo separate from the low-res art?

Spacesh1p
August 15th 2016


6422 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, Jac. Can't wait for my copy to arrive.

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Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2016


1630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Guess I'll be pinching the vinyl then, thanks Space : )

necropig
August 15th 2016


2479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Anyone have the physical? Is there a lyrics sheet? Nothing from bandcamp download fs

Digging: Catharsis (US) - Passion

Spacesh1p
August 15th 2016


6422 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dunno. Still waiting on this to arrive. So the vinyl has the black background? Pretty sweet.

EvoHavok
August 15th 2016


6553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Outstanding review for an outstanding album. Great year for death metal for sure.

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Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2016


563 Comments


This is p good ya

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Flugmorph
August 15th 2016


15451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

liking this



especially the post rock elements that are sprinkled in there really break it up for me

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necropig
August 15th 2016


2479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listened to this cutting the grass today. Was a brutal cut.

Flugmorph
August 15th 2016


15451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hah



i also like how short this is, musicians need to learn restraint nowadays.

necropig
August 15th 2016


2479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

production is delish

cryptologous
Contributing Reviewer
August 16th 2016


1456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"hah



i also like how short this is, musicians need to learn restraint nowadays."



[2]

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p4p
August 16th 2016


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album always reminds of genocyber idk why

combustion07
August 16th 2016


5582 Comments


These guys are playing here next month gonna have to give this a listen

evilford
August 16th 2016


40081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice rev jac gonna jam this in a bit

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