Denver’s Blood Incantation has made a reputation for themselves as one of the premier death metal bands. Eschewing the typical grind of lyrics about war and blood and carnage for something a little headier and cosmic. And after the release of the band’s sophomore album, 2019s Hidden History of the Human Race, Blood Incantion became one of the most talked about and forward thinking metal bands working.
Continuing their evolution in sound and aesthetic Blood Incantation has just released their all instrumental new album, Timewave Zero. Trading their typical instruments for synthesizers, the band has made an epic ambient metal album and a bold shift in sound. The cosmic death metal is pretty much all cosmic here, giving us a Tangerine Dream-heavy record with small movements that take the listener on an ever-expanding listening experience. Headphones aren’t required, but they’re encouraged.
I actually came to Blood Incantation via singer/guitaris Paul Riedl’s solo work. Outside of the metal scene Riedl makes late night improvised synth albums on his own. Ambient and new age in nature, sonically they’re light years from Blood Incantation. But aesthetically these quiet synth albums are just an extention of what Riedl is doing with his metal band. An almost new age idealogy runs through both projects; trying to intellectualize those big questions through music. “Who are we?”, “Where did we come from?”, and “Where are we going?”. On Timewave Zero the line has been erased between Riedl’s two musical worlds.
The album is broken up into two sides, “lo” and “Ea”, with each side having four movements each. It locks into Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, and Klaus Schulze vibes. All dark and foreboding synth tones that sort of float in a cloud of reverb and shadows, Timewave Zero is influenced by early synthesizer albums of the 70s. Albums you drop the needle on and take a journey with. This is not a party album. There will be no headbanging or ripping of guitar solos.
If soundtracks like Sorcerer, Blade Runner, or records by Rudiger Lorenz, Steve Roach, and Lisa Bella Donna get your brain humming, then you are going to absolutely love Blood Incantation’s new direction. If you don’t know any of those names I mentioned and are needing a metal fix, this probably won’t be for you. But if you’re looking for something to zone out with after a long day and like to be adventurous musically, then give Timewave Zero a shot. It might just be the fix you were looking for all along.
Buy Timewave Zero here.