LIVE: Blood Incantation @ Nambucca, London

By Glen Bushell

While watching Blood Incantation, you can’t help but question if this band is even human. Everything about them feels as though they are from another world. Given their cosmic aesthetic, the Colorado death metal band probably wouldn’t have it any other way.

On the back of their critically acclaimed album, ‘Starspawn’, Blood Incantation have packed out intimate North London bar, Nambucca. It is one of the most forward thinking extreme records in recent memory, and with this being their first time in the capital, you can cut the anticipation with a knife.

Within seconds of the title track from ‘Starspawn’ going straight for jugular, it sets the tone for what proves to be a sonically punishing set. Vocalist/guitarist Paul Reidl’s guttural, low-register delivery adds a cavernous layer to Blood Incantation’s astral take on death metal. Declaring that “this is another song about outer space,” before each track, Riedl is likeable and entertaining, breaking up their devastating brutality.

Every nuance of Blood Incantation has been tweaked to perfection, with no room for mistake. ‘The Vth Tablet (Of Enuma Elis)’ is carried by a hail of unrelenting double kick work and visceral blast beats from Isaac Faulk, while Jeff Barrett’s thick, bass lines add a subtle groove to ‘Chaosplasm’. The way in which Riedl and fellow guitarist, Morris Kolontyrsky, trade intricate guitar parts is nothing short of jaw dropping. Triumphant lead lines interlock with low-end riffing and bizarre time signatures, making the crushing majesty of ‘Hovering Lifeless’ the perfect soundtrack to interplanetary thoughts.

While there is a stigma attached to death metal, and it is often met with its fair share of criticism (hardly surprising when “slamming brutal death metal” is apparently still a thing), Blood Incantation get it exactly right. From their accomplished, precise playing, to the astral theme that weaves its way throughout their music, they are leagues above anyone else. If ever there was a band bring legitimacy back to the genre and usher in a new era for the genre, It’s Blood Incantation.