Monday, July 22, 2024
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The new Blood Incantation album, “Absolute Elsewhere”, is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Yes, that’s an audacious, possibly hyperbolic claim, but few can claim a sonic watershed as readily as this Denver, Colorado quartet. Hovering at nearly 45 minutes, their longest full length recording yet, the album’s two sprawling movements – “The Stargate” and “The Message” – are as confounding as they are engaging, exponentially expanding upon the formulas laid down by their scene-shattering debut Starspawn (2016) and landmark followup “Hidden History of the Human Race” (2019).

As Blood Incantation’s Paul Riedl tells:

“‘Absolute Elsewhere’ is our most potent audial extract/musical trip yet; like the soundtrack to a Herzog-style Sci-Fi epic about the history of/battle for human consciousness itself, via a 70s Prog album played by a 90s Death Metal band from the future.”

For inspiration, the group looked to the mid-70’s progressive rock collective, “Absolute Elsewhere” (best known as a celestial stopover for King Crimson drummer, Bill Bruford) as the album’s namesake. For the uninitiated, “Absolute Elsewhere”’s obscure 1976 album, In Search of Ancient Gods, was constructed as a musical accompaniment to the works of Chariots of the Gods author, Erich Von Daniken, and his theories of non-terrestrial humanoid prompts towards mankind’s evolution. The subject matter of which should serve as no surprise to anyone familiar with Blood Incantation’s cosmically philosophical leanings. But make no mistake, the four musicians working under the Blood Incantation banner for the past decade – guitarist and vocalist Paul Riedl, drummer Isaac Faulk, guitarist Morris Kolontyrsky and bassist Jeff Barrett – have successfully left the microgravity of genre behind and are re-writing the Rosetta Stone of extreme music with a new language entirely. Demonstrations like their 2022 all-synth show or 2024’s Roadburn Festival headlining appearance where they played back-to-back death metal and ambient made it clear: Blood Incantation have honed their abilities to go boldly where few bands have gone before, and reveal no signs of slowing down.

For “Absolute Elsewhere”, the band’s first full-length since their cinematic “Timewave Zero” EP (2022) and epic “Luminescent Bridge” maxi-single (2023), Blood Incantation decamped to the celebrated Hansa Tonstudios in Berlin, Germany in July 2023 to record with wünderkid producer Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Spectral Voice, Kreator, Wayfarer, Sumerlands, etc). This legendary, pre-Weimar-built recording complex was where many of their most progressive influences including Tangerine Dream, Eloy and Brian Eno created classic albums in the 1970s. Unmistakably, Hansa and Berlin became part of the underlying character of the album, culminating in Tangerine Dream’s own Thorsten Quaeschning contributing lead synths, Mellotron and programming to “The Stargate [Tablet II]”. Other special guests include Nicklas Malmqvist, from Sweden’s star-riding Hällas, on lead synths/keys, piano and Mellotron throughout all tracks, and Malte Gericke, the Sijjin/ex-Necros Christos mainman contributing guest vocals in his native tongue. Underscoring the classic Progressive Rock vibe, the album is adorned with contemporary visionary paintings by the iconic and reclusive 70s Sci-Fi artist Steve R. Dodd. Together, this international all-star team adds to the unearthly atmospherics of “Absolute Elsewhere”, which defines a new musical epoch for Blood Incantation.

They have launched their Stargate Research Society discord and Elsewhere Searcher app – a home for discussions of all things Blood Incantation. Researchers at the society recently unearthed an 80’s era floppy disk containing vintage celestial tracker software. The researchers were able to re-activate the space tracker and through meticulous study of the visible solar system have noticed the appearance of a new red planet in the vicinity of Orion’s Belt. The researchers also claim that the new planet is intermittently emitting signals, although no recordings of these transmissions have been captured yet. The society has made their research available to the public in an effort to warn citizens of the planet’s rapid approach toward Earth, with a possible collision occurring in October 2024. The tracker is open for public use at http://www.stargateresearchsociety.app.

Blood Incantation lineup:

Paul Riedl – guitars, vocals
Isaac Faulk – drums
Morris Kolontyrsky – guitars
Jeff Barrett – fretless bass

Photo credit: Joe Dilworth, Berlin 

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