Written by: Gareth Endean
Back in the heady pre-times of 2019, Blood Incantation whipped up quite a frenzy of hype and lavish praise when they released Hidden History of the Human Race. An elegant, expansive slab of psychedelic sci-fi death metal it peppered many an end of year list and the band were heralded as the next big thing in heavy music. It is a bold move then to entirely eschew death metal – in fact metal of any kind – on their follow up album, Timewave Zero. Instead they have opted to release a two song, 40 minute long, ambient soundscape. Although describing it as two songs is perhaps misleading. In truth it is really one long suite that ambles gently through your brain, taking you on a voyage through the vast emptiness of space. There is little here that could described as song like, no discernible hooks, no vocals, no riffs or drums. And far be it from me to cast aspersions on the band but if they weren’t on drugs when they wrote this then I want to know what they’re putting in the water in Denver, because this is the epitome of a spaced out, interdimensional narcotic trip…allegedly.
Second track Ea is perhaps the more immediate and memorable of the two, but both could quite easily be listened to without ever really troubling your conscious mind. And if you are in the mood for metal then this really isn’t the album for you, in fact the only thing remotely metal about it is the band’s indecipherable logo on the cover. However, if you ever feel like disengaging from reality for a bit, perhaps smoking something medicinal and drifting off into another plain, then put this on your noise cancelling headphones, close your eyes and let the music wash through you and it might well do the trick.
What Blood Incantation do next is anyone’s guess, but Timewave Zero has to earn some credit for being just about the biggest volte-face in metal history. For a band who have so much metal potential, however, it would certainly be a shame if this turned out to be Blood Incantation’s final musical destination rather than an interesting, scenic detour before returning to the death metal path. Taken on its own merits as an ambient instrumental piece, this is a perfectly pleasant album and the band have clearly succeeded in what they set out to do but compared to what we know Blood Incantation can do, it is hardly the return the fans would have been hoping for.
Laid back ambience but not a riff in sight – 3/5