Studio Report: Blood Incantation – “Hidden History of the Human Race”

On Friday, June 21st, the Denver-based death metal band Blood Incantation entered World Famous Studios to record their sophomore album, Hidden History of the Human Race. 

According to guitarist/vocalist Paul Riedl, Blood Incantation set out “determined to make a genuine and distinctive album of monumental and epic psychedelic/brutal/progressive/technical/ambient/funeral death metal like no other.”

Photo courtesy of Alvino Salcedo

As with their debut album, Starspawn, Blood Incantation’s sophomore record is also “fully analog.” In other words, when Riedl promises that the new album is “altogether faster, more aggressive, more progressive, and more extreme in all facets,” not to mention having a “longer playing time than [Starspawn],” what he’s leaving out, or presuming you already know, is that the band will be recording their songs straight to tape. So if you’ve ever wondered how Blood Incantation sound simultaneously ancient and futuristic, part of that comes from the band’s approach to recording their albums using analog equipment. Of course, there is also their mind-expanding riffs and their dedication not only to the underground, but also to the themes behind their singular death metal. 

Photo courtesy of Alvino Salcedo

But speaking of playing around in time, according to Riedl, Hidden History of the Human Race “contains material that predates [Blood Incantation’s] first album; the song ‘The Giza Power Plant’ was written in 2013. We decided to keep it for our 2nd album, rather than record it for Starspawn.”

Adding to the already staggering anticipation, Riedl says that “in the tradition of 70s prog albums” side B of Hidden History of the Human Race is just one single, massive track.

“[Don’t] let the length mislead you, as the bulk of the song is 15+ minutes of our most unrelenting and technical material yet, with minimal embellishments.”

Photo courtesy of Anthony Limón

According to Riedl, “The production [on Hidden History of the Human Race] is more up front and aggressive than on Starspawn; guitars are tighter, beefier and have more mids. Drums are clearer and the kick drum is higher in the mix. The vocals have a slightly different approach but are still cosmic, just a little more up front. There is simultaneously more reverb/delay in everything as well as more clarity and punch. The whole thing is very trippy and psychedelic in a dreamlike and insane way, very much a journey. The most surprising thing to me is the effect on the listener after the full-on assault has subsided, which I will leave for you to discover on your own.”

Photo by Alvino Salcedo

As for the album cover, Riedl says: “The artwork is again some amazing 1970s pieces by Bruce Pennington. The cover image had been selected since before Starspawn was recorded, actually, and is extremely sick. It is definitely the most ‘Blood Incantation’ image I have ever seen.”

The anticipation is unbearable, but, according to Riedl, we may get to hear Hidden History of the Human Race sooner than we realize. “The release date is tentatively Fall 2019,” says Riedl. “We want to get it out in time for our US/Canada tour with Immolation but that might be cutting it too close. Only time will tell. We will release the first track before the tour. Safe to say, RIP to every Year End List submitted to press before hearing the HHotHR ;)”

Photo courtesy of Anthony Limón